MDC Forestry Division honors Heartland Tree Alliance

News from the region
Kansas City
Published Date

Kansas City, Mo. – A non-profit program provided by Bridging the Gap, the Heartland Tree Alliance, is being honored for outstanding volunteer work and advocacy for healthy community forests in the Kansas City area. The Heartland Tree Alliance was recently announced as the Outstanding Partner Award recipient from the Forestry Division of the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). State Forester Lisa Allen will present the award on March 9 at a Missouri Community Forestry Council luncheon in St. Joseph.

   Also, the Heartland Tree Alliance won this year’s Arbor Award of Excellence presented by the Missouri Community Forestry Council.

   Trees provide valuable shade, scenery and wildlife habitat in cities, the suburbs and on acreages. They boost air and water quality. Trees add economic value to property and make cities more enjoyable. Also, urban trees can contribute valuable wood to specialized lumber industries.

    MDC Urban Forester Chuck Conner works in the Kansas City area and nominated the Heartland Tree Alliance for the Outstanding Partner Award. Since 2005, 3,574 volunteers from the Alliance have donated more than 10,000 hours to help plant, prune, water and care for publicly-owned trees in the communities of Greater Kansas City. They planted 12,444 trees, pruned 2,626 trees, and mulched, removed staking or performed other tasks on an additional 2,446 trees. Their work is guided by MDC urban foresters, community foresters, arborists and horticulturalists. They have also presented educational programs about trees.

   Conner said programs that give people a chance to get their hands in the dirt planting trees creates true advocates for healthy urban forests.

   “Heartland Tree Alliance has many dirty-handed volunteers who tend to smile frequently and are passionate about the forest where they live,” he said. “I am seeing the dividends they are providing in my service area on a daily basis.”

    For information about community forests and their benefits, visit or To learn about the Heartland Tree Alliance, visit