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UNI students plant trees in formerly redlined neighborhoods

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

Residential areas marked red — starting in the 1930s — were deemed places of high-risk investment. The impacts of this practice, called redlining, persist today and even extend to the tree canopy.

University of Northern Iowa Professor Jayme Renfro teaches redlining in her senior public administration seminar and usually includes a related project in the class. This year, her class will be planting trees in redlined areas of Waterloo in an effort to incorporate nature in places that were historically neglected.

In this episode, host Charity Nebbe talks with Renfro about the project, along with two students involved in the effort.

Then, we listen to a conversation IPR's Samantha McIntosh had with singer-songwriter Caroline Rose, an artist whose 2023 album, The Art of Forgetting, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Recording Package. Rose will perform at the Englert Theatre in Iowa City April 23.


  • Jayme Renfro, associate professor of political science, University of Northern Iowa
  • Faith Larsen, junior in political science and public administration, University of Northern Iowa
  • Serenity Kollasch, senior in political science, University of Northern Iowa
  • Caroline Rose, singer, songwriter

The Englert Theatre is an underwriter of IPR.

Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Dani Gehr is a producer for River to River and Talk of Iowa. Dani came to Iowa from her hometown in the northwest suburbs of Chicago to attend Iowa State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism, international studies and French. Before coming to IPR, Dani covered local government in Story County for the Ames Tribune and Des Moines Register.
Samantha McIntosh is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio. Prior to IPR, Samantha worked as a reporter for radio stations in southeast and west central Iowa under M&H Broadcasting, and before that she was a weekend music host for GO 96.3 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.