NEWS RELEASE FROM THE CITY OF JOPLIN
Officials from the City of Joplin, Empire District Electric Company, and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) gathered today with the public in recognizing Friday, April 25 as Arbor Day in Joplin. The event recognized the benefits trees provide our community with a short program at Parr Hill Park, with a tree giveaway following.
Councilwoman Miranda Lewis, representing the Joplin City Council, presented a Proclamation naming April 25, 2014 as Arbor Day for the City of Joplin. Immediately following the program, foresters with Empire and City’s Parks and Recreation gave complimentary trees to residents. These foresters, along with representatives of the MDC and the City’s Tree Advisory Board, were on hand to provide information about the importance of planting the right tree in the right place. A variety of trees specifically selected to aid in reforestation efforts in Joplin were available.
Thousands of trees in the City were lost due to the May 22, 2011 tornado, with losses totaling over 200 trees in Cunningham and Parr Hill Parks alone. Tree donations have allowed the City to start the process of planting replacement trees. Ric Mayer, who has served as the Recovery Coordinator with MDC, and helped the City in reforesting the community was recognized by Jon Skinner of MDC for his work and his recent retirement from MDC, during the event. In turn, Mayer made a presentation to Mark Womack , noting his commitment as a volunteer who has assisted Mayer throughout these past two years at the City by planting trees, watering tasks, loading and unloading trees, and other functions to repopulate Joplin and Duquesne’s urban forest. A second volunteer, Val Frankowski who was not able to attend, was also commended for her work.
The event also celebrated Joplin’s status as a Tree City USA and Empire’s fifth year as a Tree Line USA utility, as recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation. To become a Tree City USA, a city must initiate standards that address management and care of public trees, commit to a community forestry program, and participate in an event to provide education about proper tree care. To receive the Tree Line USA designation, a utility must follow quality tree care standards, provide annual worker training, and participate in tree planting, public education and tree-based energy conservation efforts.
For more information about the City’s Tree City USA program, contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 417-624-6937. For information about Empire’s vegetation management program and utility arboretum projects, go to www.empiredistrict.com/trees.
# # #