MDC recognizes outstanding urban forestry efforts

News from the region
Kansas City
Published Date

Kansas City, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the Missouri Community Forestry Council recently recognized a civic leader and a non-profit group for outstanding service for community tree programs in the Kansas City area.

Recipients received honors on March 9 at the Forestry Council’s annual conference in St. Joseph. Presenting the awards were Missouri State Forester Lisa Allen and Missouri Community Forestry Council Chair Casey Jo Kellner.

Leslie Dick of Belton received a 2016 Citation of Merit for urban forestry work in her community. Dick is a founding member of the Belton Tree Board and has helped lead multiple projects for the board. Under her guidance the city’s biggest and best trees are celebrated. She has helped foster the Belton Parks Arboretum and coordinated Arbor Day celebrations.

Project Blue River Rescue received a 2016 Citation of Merit for planting trees near the river that winds through the metro area. Volunteers for the 25-year project have also worked to clean up trash and debris along the Blue River Parkway, and they have cleared invasive bush honeysuckle from natural areas. These projects connect people with nature and advance conservation stewardship.

MDC supports urban forestry because trees provide beauty, health and financial benefits to people and communities. For more information, visit