Gift Trees

Green is Hy-Vee's Favorite Color

Hy-Vee, the Midwestern supermarket chain, nourishes its communities in many ways.

Known for excellence in the quality of their foods throughout a seven-state region, they live their mission of helping make people's lives easier, healthier, and happier.

But Hy-Vee is taking a commitment to "green" beyond the broccoli in their produce aisle.

The chain has already instituted a sustainability policy in their stores, intent upon reducing their environmental footprint. They are focusing on energy and resource conservation; waste reduction and recycling; store building and design; and product sourcing and packaging.

But now they're getting their hands dirty. Literally and figuratively planting roots in fertile soil, Hy-Vee is giving communities 200,000 Gift Trees from the Arbor Day Foundation, ready to place in the ground.

Inside the Hero Gallery at Arbor Day Farm, dozens of staff members busily prepare Colorado Blue Spruce and Norway Spruce seedlings for Hy-Vee's bold tree-planting initiative.

Jon Wendel, the chain's vice president of marketing, firmly believes, "Everyone has a role in protecting the environment." That's why Hy-Vee is empowering cities and towns across the Midwest.

Community groups and more than 500 schools throughout Hy-Vee's service region received Colorado Blue Spruce and Norway Spruce seedlings, selected for their hardiness in the Midwest, throughout September 2008.

Arbor Day Foundation chief executive Matt Harris applauds Hy-Vee's action. "These trees will impact communities for years. Those who have recently been hit by storms and floods will feel Hy-Vee's commitment for generations to come as they watch these trees mature."

Packaged Gift Trees, carefully labeled with planting and care instructions for each recipient's convenience, are conscientiously selected with that recipient's region in mind.