(From the City of Joplin)
The City of Joplin’s Parks and Recreation Department is introducing the first round of the City’s tree replacement program to help homeowners gain shade and natural beauty to their repaired or new homes. Thousands of trees in Joplin were destroyed during the May 22 tornado.
The Parks Department will have trees available for homeowners, who are located in the storm-damaged area and have completed the rebuilding or repairs to their home. Homeowners will have the opportunity to receive up to two trees during this round. This is just the first round of trees to be donated, and the City will offer other opportunities in the near future as resources become available.
“We are happy to be able to offer this type of program, through the large number of generous donations that are being received for the replacement of trees,” said City Manager Mark Rohr. “Just as our citizens favor an urban forest, we at the City recognize trees as wonderful assets to our community, and as an integral part of the rebuilding process.”
To receive the donated trees, homeowners need to complete an application at the City’s Parks office, 3010 West 1st Street, located just west of Schifferdecker Avenue. The Parks office will contact the homeowners once the donated trees are accumulated and are ready to be distributed. The City anticipates the delivery date no later than the end of October.
“Our goal is to have 2,000 trees planted by the end of fall,” said Chris Cotten, Parks Director. “We have seen tremendous support from many who have donated trees and provided resources to purchase trees to help beautify Joplin and implement this replanting program. We are continuing to develop a comprehensive tree plan for the disaster area, as well as the entire City. ”
Citizens will need to verify their address in the storm-damaged area when completing the application and may also indicate on the form if they need assistance in planting their trees. Residents will be expected to be available when volunteers arrive to help with the planting, so as to direct the specific location of the trees. The City reminds residents that all tree location sites should be selected with utility lines and lateral lines in mind. Trees are expected to have a one and a half to two inches caliper.
The donated trees will be a species on the City’s Tree List included in the recent ordinance passed by the Joplin City Council. This ordinance will provide the basis for this project moving forward. The City’s Tree List can be found on the City of Joplin’s website at www.joplinmo.org . This program is to help residents replace lost trees on their property. Information about plant in public rights-of-way in residential neighborhoods will be provided at a later date.