The Missouri Department of Conservation recently awarded $10,000 to Rolla through the department's Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance grant program, which provides cost-share funding for government agencies, schools and nonprofit groups to manage or conserve trees on public spaces.

“TRIM grants help communities with tree management-related activities that help keep neighborhood trees healthy and thriving,” MDC Community Forestry Coordinator Russell Hinnah said in a news release. “Grant funds are matched by each grant recipient to help with tree inventories, pruning, planting, removals, and educational programs.”

According to the Department of Conservation, trees in Missouri cities and towns offer a number of benefits. They reduce air and water pollution, impact heating and cooling costs and increase real estate values. They can also improve physical and mental health and are even associated with reduced crime rates, the department said in a news release on Tuesday. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has really shown us how valuable our outdoor spaces are for our physical and mental well-being, and trees are a huge part of that,” Hinnah said. “Whether you are relaxing with your family at a park or getting some exercise on a local trail, you are benefiting from well-managed trees this program supports.”

The department awarded 41 Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance grants in 2020, totaling $366,446. 

Rolla along with many of the 2020 grant recipients will use the funding to conduct tree inventories, which are a critical first step in managing community forests. 

Counting the number of trees, tracking what species and what condition the trees are in can help communities better plan for taking care of them, the department said. 

Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance grant recipients for 2020 include:

City of Hermann—Education, Planting, $10,000 City of Gladstone—Removal, $10,000 County of Clay—Removal, Education, Planting, $10,000 City of Crestwood—Inventory, $10,000 City of Rolla—Inventory, Removal, $10,000 City of Joplin—Pruning, $10,000 Little Creek Nature Center—Inventory, Education, $5,750 City of Brentwood—Planting, $10,000 Louis/East Central MCFC—Education, $10,000 City of Kansas City—Inventory, $10,000 City of Ash Grove—Removal, Planting, $9,254 City of Perryville—Removal, Education, Planting, $10,000 City of Wildwood—Planting, $9,885 University of Missouri-Landscaping Services—Removal, Education, Planting, $10,000 City of Warrensburg-- Removal, Education, Planting, $6,834 Springfield Tree City USA Advisory Committee—Nursery Establishment, $10,000 Heartland Conservation Association—Inventory, Education, $10,000 City of Glendale—Inventory, Removal, Planting, $8,041 Truman State University—Removal, Pruning, Planting, $10,000 City of Parkville—Removal, Pruning, $7,320 City of Sedalia—Inventory, Pruning, Education, Planting, $10,000 Viva Cuba, Inc.—Removal, Education, Planting, $10,000 City of Kirksville—Planting, $10,000 City of University City—Inventory, $9,437 City of Cape Girardeau Parks & Recreation—Inventory, $4,875 City of Shrewsbury—Pruning, Education, Planting, $4,930 Northwest Missouri State University—Removal, Pruning, Planting, $9,811 City of Bridgeton—Inventory, $5,454 City of Manchester—Inventory, Education, Planting, $9,783 City of Farber—Inventory, Removal, Pruning, $4,341 Forest ReLeaf of Missouri—Education, $10,000 Poplar Bluff Park Department—Planting, $7,044 Bridging the Gap, Inc.—Education, Planting, $10,000 City of Bel-Nor—Removal, Pruning, Planting, $10,000 City of Liberty Parks & Rec Dept—Pruning, Education, $5,250 City of St. Charles Parks & Rec Dept—Removal, Pruning, $10,000 City of Ladue—Removal, Pruning, $10,000 Pasadena Park—Inventory, Removal, Pruning, Planting, $10,000 Pasadena Hills—Removal, Pruning, Planting, $10,000 Downtown Marceline—Removal, Education, Planting, $8,438 University of Missouri-St. Louis—Removal, Pruning, $10,000