KANSAS CITY, MO -- Trees provide shade, boost air quality, give us building materials, shelter wildlife and help keep America beautiful, which is why trees are celebrated on National Arbor Day, April 27.
While dates for local Arbor Day celebrations and ceremonies vary among communities and states, the common theme is that trees increase the quality of life for people. When people and cities take good care of trees in yards, rights of way, parks and forests, the benefits increase even further.
Several cities in the Kansas City and St. Joseph regions have been recognized with Tree City USA designations by the National Arbor Day Foundation. Qualifying cities must have an active, well-funded tree maintenance program and designated staffers to carry out the programs.
Cities in the Kansas City region earning the designation include: Belton, Blue Springs, Clinton, Gladstone, Grandview, Independence, Kansas City, Kearney, Lee’s Summit, Liberty, North Kansas City, Raytown, Sedalia and Warrensburg. Liberty was also additionally honored for growth in its tree care programs.
In the St. Joseph region, recipients include: Chillicothe, Maryville, Plattsburg, Savannah and Trenton.
Arbor Day is always a good time to plant a tree. The Heartland Tree Alliance provides information about urban trees for the Kansas City area at heartlandtreealliance.org/. For extensive information about trees from backyard plantings to forest management, go to mdc.mo.gov and search "trees."