Joplin’s urban forest is shaping up through the assistance of the Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance (TRIM) Grant offered by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC).
In partnering with MDC and attaining the TRIM Grant, more than 700 young trees were pruned this year to provide structure and strength for their future health. Pruning young trees allows setting the structure of the tree for the future which reduces future structural problems that may lead to early tree failure, potential safety issues, and removal earlier in the trees life than necessary.
This year, the TRIM grant added $10,000 to the City’s efforts of tree trimming on trees located on the ground of Joplin Athletic Complex, Schifferdecker Park, Ewert Park, Landreth Park, Joe Becker Stadium, Mercy Park, Garvin Park, 26th to 27th Street along Joplin, Wall, and Pearl Streets.
The City has worked with MDC for years, and the partnership was instrumental in growing the urban forest following the May 2011 disaster. Often the value of trees in a community can be overshadowed by other aesthetic elements. However, many realized the impact trees have in city parks, neighborhoods and along streets following the devastation that reduced Joplin’s urban forest by approximately 17,000 trees.
Following this, it also became increasingly important to review Joplin’s current greenways, and the existing trees’ conditions to nurture community greenspaces. The TRIM Grant has provided much needed resources to help with survey activities related to tree inventories focusing on parks, cemeteries, and other public areas. It was conducted over a three-year period, wrapping up in 2017. In 2018, structurally trimming trees became the focus.
“The Missouri Department of Conservation has been a strong partner to help with resources for our work related to trees in Joplin,” said Jake Cowen with Parks and Recreation. “We were able to assesses the health of our tree canopy through the tree survey. Since then we have been trimming a large number of trees because of its importance and necessary step in proper tree care. This work will benefit our community with a stronger tree canopy in our parks and city.”
TRIM is a competitive, cost-share tree care program administered by the Missouri Department of Conservation in cooperation with the Missouri Community Forest Council. The program assists government agencies, public schools, and nonprofit groups with the management, improvement, or conservation of trees on public lands. Projects eligible for TRIM funding include tree inventory, removal or pruning of hazardous trees, tree planting, and training of volunteers and city/county employees to best care for our community forests.
The City of Joplin has received TRIM grants in the past for educational materials and conferences. This type of support is beneficial to the City in maintaining its Tree City USA status.