MDC awards 2017 Arbor Award of Excellence to Elsberry Alderman

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo.—For over 30 years, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the Missouri Community Forestry Council (MCFC) have recognized Missourians who are outstanding stewards of community trees through the annual Arbor Award of Excellence. 

The 2017 Individual Arbor Award of Excellence was presented to Ward 3 Alderman Mike Talbot of Elsberry for his efforts to improve the quality of life for his community by enhancing its trees. MDC State Forester Lisa Allen presented the award at the annual Missouri Community Forestry Council Conference in Springfield March 8.

“The Missouri Arbor Awards of Excellence highlight the people and organizations working to provide sustainable, long-term efforts to care for trees,” said Allen. “Their work is extremely important to assure the many economic, social, and environmental benefits of a healthy community forest.”

For the past two years, Talbot has taken active measures to manage the forest canopy owned by the City of Elsberry.  He drafted applications for Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance (TRIM) grants two years in a row, both of which were awarded.  TRIM is a competitive, cost-share tree care program administered by the MDC and MCFC to assist with the management, improvement, or conservation of trees on public lands. The 2015 grant funded the city’s first ever tree inventory, and the one awarded in 2016 will help remove hazard trees identified in the inventory.  

Thanks to Talbot’s efforts, Elsberry has also achieved Tree City USA status.  This certifies that the city has a viable tree-management plan and program according to standards set by the National Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters.

Talbot was also acknowledged for rallying volunteers to accomplish a number of community forestry tasks. 

“Mike’s determination, persistence, and hard work for his community are inspiring,” said MDC Community Forester Danny Moncheski.

Trees are visible and valuable assets for any size community, contributing greatly to the appearance and character of the town. They are also part of the public infrastructure and play an essential role in the community, similar to streets, sewers, and utilities.

Nominations for this year’s Arbor Awards of Excellence were evaluated based on sustainability, innovation, use of sound tree management principles. A total of four categories were awarded statewide. 

For more information on community tree programs or caring for trees, visit