MDC to offer free trees to mid-Missouri health care workers

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COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is excited to partner with the Arbor Day Foundation and the Missouri Community Forestry Council to launch the Trees for Health Care Workers project. The pilot program gives thanks to mid-Missouri health care workers for their dedication and service during the COVID-19 pandemic by giving them a free tree to plant in their yard.

“Health care workers have worked fiercely and tirelessly for the health of others during the pandemic,” said MDC Community Forester Ann Koenig. “We would like to show a token of our appreciation by providing them with a free tree as a way of saying thank you for their monumental service.”

MDC is committed to a greener, healthier community. Trees and forests work each day to provide real and tangible benefits Missourians. That includes Missouri’s “urban forests,” which are the trees in our community parks, backyards, and along city streets.

“Trees help clean our water and air, reduce heating and cooling bills, increase the value of homes, and make it more pleasant to get outside and enjoy the outdoors,” said Koenig.

Tree species available through the Trees for Health Care Workers program include redbud, dogwood, paw paw, blackgum, and swamp white oak.

Beginning March 15, health care workers in MDC’s Central Region can reserve a tree by visiting A one-gallon tree of their choice will then be mailed to their home for free. The website is designed to help participants plant their new tree in the best location around their home.

Koenig notes there is a limited availability of trees, and they are being offered on a first come, first served basis. The pilot program is offered only to health care workers in the 15 counties in central Missouri: Audrain, Callaway, Camden, Cole, Cooper, Boone, Gasconade, Howard, Maries, Miller, Moniteau, Montgomery, Morgan, Osage, and Saline.

For more information on the Trees for Health Care Workers program, visit

To learn more about the benefits trees provide, visit