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Collins Aerospace Invests in Community

Collins Aerospace takes pride in giving back to the community.

By Livability on December 1, 2022

Collins Aerspace stepped up to help plant trees across Cedar Rapids after a derecho wiped out about 60% of the tree canopy.
Courtesy of Collins Aerospace

Planting trees, sustainability and education outreach are as important to Collins Aerospace as providing solutions for the global aerospace and defense industry. 

With close to 8,000 employees at its Cedar Rapids, Iowa, site, Collins Aerospace, which designs, manufactures and services systems and components for commercial and business aviation, military and defense, space, airports and more, takes pride in giving back to the community. 

So, when a destructive derecho swept through the city in August 2020, Collins sprang into action along with other community partners. 

“When Trees Forever and the city of Cedar Rapids reached out after the derecho, it was a no-brainer for us to join the cause. We focused our replanting efforts in underserved Cedar Rapids neighborhoods.” 

– Adriana Johnson, head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Collins Aerospace

“The storm devastated the city,” says Adriana Johnson, head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Collins Aerospace. “About 60% of Cedar Rapids’ tree canopy was wiped out.” 

In the immediate aftermath, the city of Cedar Rapids launched the ReLeaf Cedar Rapids program in collaboration with several partners, including Trees Forever, a longtime Collins partner. Trees Forever has a mission to plant and preserve trees across Iowa for sustainability and beautification. 

“When Trees Forever and the city of Cedar Rapids reached out after the derecho, it was a no-brainer for us to join the cause,” Johnson says. “We focused our replanting efforts in underserved Cedar Rapids neighborhoods.” 

Collins Aerspace stepped up to help plant trees across Cedar Rapids after a derecho wiped out about 60% of the tree canopy.
Courtesy of Collins Aerospace
Collins Aerspace stepped up to help plant trees across Cedar Rapids after a derecho wiped out about 60% of the tree canopy.

The ReLeaf Cedar Rapids plan spans 10 years and is designed to replant trees to address climate concerns, preserve neighborhood character and balance neighborhood equity. The program is set to plant more than 42,000 trees along Cedar Rapids streets and in city parks. 

Johnson says that Collins is proud to support this effort, as the company has a long history in Cedar Rapids. 

“Collins has been in Iowa for nearly a century. We go out and participate in the good times, but step up in the bad times, too,” she says. “We pride ourselves in not only providing financial support to our community partners but also highly engaged employees and volunteers.” 

In addition to ReLeaf Cedar Rapids, Johnson notes that Collins participates in other community programs around sustainability and education outreach. 

“We are involved in ConnectCR, which is a program to revitalize Cedar Lake and connect pedestrian and bike trails. Our employees are excited about being able to bike to work and take advantage of the new trails,” she says. “We signed up not only to sponsor the initiative but donate part of our campus as well.” 

The company also has partnerships with Kirkwood Community College, University of Iowa, Iowa State University and other educational institutions for engineering and technical programming focused on underserved populations. 

“We’ve sponsored coding camps, provided teacher development, invested in curriculum and more in an effort to share this amazing engineering and tech industry that’s right in the backyards of eastern Iowa students,” Johnson concludes. 

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