The city of Rolla has earned the designation of a Tree City community for 2020 after the city began work in 2019 to meet the four standards established by the Arbor Day Foundation for the Tree City community recognition. 

At Monday’s City Council meeting, Parks Advisory Commission Chairman Ken Kwantes and Missouri Department of Conservation forester and commission member, Mike Fleischhauer, presented the city council with the Tree City USA recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of the city’s commitment to effective urban forest management. 

The city earned the designation by meeting the program’s four requirements — having a designated tree board, having a tree care ordinance, having an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita and holding an annual Arbor Day observance. 

In a statement on the recognition, Arbor Day Foundation President Dan Lambe said, “City of Rolla officials have demonstrated a commitment to effective urban forest management and are doing their part to help address environmental challenges for residents now and in the future.”

Rolla Mayor Louis Magdits accepted the Tree City USA honor on behalf of the city and expressed his thanks, singling out Fleischhauer for helping make the recognition a reality. Kwantes noted the work to accomplish the recognition had been ongoing over many years and thanked the city’s Parks and Recreation Department for leading the effort.

Rolla now joins over 3,400 communities throughout the nation that have earned the Tree City USA status. 

“We’re thrilled to have our city’s efforts in managing our city’s tree resources recognized,” Parks and Recreation Director Floyd Jernigan said. “Our parks staff, those in public works, environmental resources and Rolla Municipal Utilities, are all involved in the city’s efforts at sustainably managing the city’s woody vegetation.”