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      Volunteers plant trees for energy efficiency project

      Volunteers plant trees in Chautauqua Park for the Hometown Rewards Program energy efficiency project.

      Volunteers got their hands dirty Sunday planting about 25 trees for an energy efficiency campaign.

      9-year-old Adriana Alonso is no rookie when it comes to planting trees.

      â??I had fun doing it last year,â?? Alonso said.

      Emanuel Schachinger also rolled up his sleeves at Chautauqua Park for a second year in a row.

      â??I just think itâ??s a really cool project to dig holes and plant trees and I just want to support the project and the people who are organizing it,â?? Schachinger said.

      Weâ??re back here again this year,â?? Sustainability Coordinator of Fairfield Scott Timm said. â??We lost 50 trees in Chautauqua Park, so weâ??re replanting all those trees and then weâ??re going back in and doing maintenance in the orchard and weâ??re replanting some of the trees we lost in the orchard.â??

      The 65 volunteers who signed up Sunday afternoon contributed to an even larger picture.

      â??This is part of the Hometown Rewards Program,â?? Timm said, â??Which is a partnership between the city and Alliant Energy, and we're trying to reduce the city's energy use by 5,059,000 kilowatt hours.â??

      Timm says a $5,000 grant from the DNR primarily funds this yearâ??s project.

      â??So many different foundations as well as grants and Trees Forever gave us funding last year,â?? Timm said.

      When the trees grow, everyone can enjoy the fruits of their labor.

      â??I look forward to the flowers, and last year we planted fruit trees over there,â?? Alonso said.

      â??It's just really satisfying to see everyone coming and giving to the community,â?? Timm said.

      If youâ??re interested in lending a hand for the Hometown Rewards Program Project next Sunday at Chautauqua Park, you can call the Fairfield Volunteer Center to sign up at 641-209-9045.