By Jim Low
Jefferson City, MO (January 13, 2008)- Dozens of Missouri communities lost trees in parks and other public areas to the ice storm in December. If your town is among them, The Missouri Department of Conservation and Forest ReLeaf of Missouri have ways to deal with damaged trees and repair or replace them affordably.
The Conservation Department’s Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance (TRIM) program is designed to help communities grow and manage trees that make cities healthy, pleasant places to live. Pre-approved grants through the program help pay for removal or pruning of hazardous trees, tree inventory, tree planting and training volunteers and public employees in tree care.
Applicants submit information about project cost and funding, site maps and drawings, management plans and a letter of approval from the governmental body that owns the proposed project site. The application deadline is June 1. Grants are awarded competitively. A panel of judges assesses each proposal for value to the community, thoroughness of the tree management program, economic feasibility and the applicant’s ability to promote, improve and develop a community urban forest.
Grant recipients get up to 60 percent of total project funding. Communities with The National Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA designation are eligible for an additional 15 percent cost-share.
Forest ReLeaf of Missouri was founded in 1993 as the local response to Global ReLeaf. Global ReLeaf is an international project of American Forest intended to combat global warming through tree planting. Today, Forest ReLeaf is an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring volunteers to plant and care for trees and forests, especially those in cities and towns. Forest ReLeaf provides trees and presents educational programs to promote stewardship of trees and forests.
One of Forest ReLeaf’s programs, Project ReLeaf, offers reduced-cost trees each spring and fall for planting on public or not-for-profit organizations’ property. Since 1994, it has distributed more than 28,000 balled and burlapped 5- to 10-foot-tall trees from its nursery in Creve Coeur Park in Maryland Heights. The trees are ideal for parks or city streets. Forest ReLeaf publishes catalogs listing available tree species, sizes and prices in January and August. Ordering deadlines are in February and September.
Forest ReLeaf of Missouri