Deadline is Jan. 6 for Arbor Award of Excellence nominations

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JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the Missouri Community Forestry Council (MCFC) are accepting nominations for the 2017 Missouri Arbor Award of Excellence. The annual award recognizes communities, institutions, businesses, organizations and individuals that make significant and long-lasting efforts to care for trees in their communities. Nominations are due by Friday, Jan. 6, 2017.

“Trees bring so much value to our communities, but their overall health depends on people practicing good tree stewardship on both public and private property,” said MDC Community Forestry Program Supervisor Russell Hinnah. “The more we work to take care of our trees, the more trees work for us by increasing property values, improving our air, saving energy, protecting our watersheds, providing wildlife habitat, and more.”

The Arbor Award of Excellence shines the spotlight on anyone who has improved trees in their community. Any significant program, project, or event that contributes to the care or maintenance of trees could qualify for an award.

“This award is intended to recognize projects that demonstrate a sustained overall effort to care for trees,” said Hinnah. “I encourage everyone to consider the wonderful tree work in their communities and to nominate those who made it possible.”

Winners receive a framed award, a full registration scholarship to the MCFC conference in March, a community forestry reference book, a $50 gift card, and a 5 percent bonus cost-share if selected for funding through MDC’s Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance cost-share program.

For more information and nomination forms, visit and search Missouri Arbor Award of Excellence.


2016 Arbor Award of Excellence Winners

Individual – Martha Clark

For many years Martha Clark worked for the City of St. Joseph in various capacities, but also served as the city’s unofficial tree expert. Her interest and passion for trees has been sustained for many years, particularly in her involvement with volunteers for the St. Joseph tree board. When she retired from the city, Martha became an ISA certified arborist and began her new career as a consulting urban forester. She is active with the Helena City park board and is involved with many local tree activities, including Arbor Day celebrations and tree planting at local schools. Martha received this award for her ability to empower and inspire individuals to actively care for their trees.

Organization – Heartland Tree Alliance

The Heartland Tree Alliance (HTA) is a non-profit organization under the umbrella of Bridging the Gap. The Heartland Tree Alliance has become an incredible advocacy and volunteer group promoting the benefits of a healthy urban forest in the Kansas City metropolitan area. The HTA has successfully reached out to people where they live and work through outreach, education, and advocacy. Since inception of the organization 10 years ago, 3,574 volunteers have donate over 10,290 hours to plant, prune, mulch, water and care for publicly owned community trees.

Business or Institution – Kirksville, Missouri Arbor Day Event

The City of Kirksville was recognized for their outstanding 2015 Arbor Day event. The city worked with Truman State University to organize a joint celebration that included the Kirksville R-III School District, the Ray Miller Elementary School Green Thumb Project, and the Truman Environmental Club. By collaborating on a joint event, the city met their goal of helping children understand how to help the environment by getting outside, getting in the dirt, and having fun.