Tree awards go to Springfield schools, Marshfield board

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Springfield’s Public Schools and Marshfield’s Tree City USA Committee have earned state recognition for understanding that trees provide many economic, aesthetic and emotional benefits.

Springfield Public Schools has received the 2016 Missouri Arbor Award in the municipality/government category. Marshfield’s Tree City USA Committee received a citation of merit in the same category. Each year, these awards are presented by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the Missouri Community Forestry Council (MCFC). For 30 years, MDC and MCFC have recognized citizens and entities in Missouri who have proven to be outstanding stewards of community tree issues.

Springfield Public Schools maintains 3,000 trees on its 66 properties which encompass 650 acres of green space. Each year, the District’s grounds maintenance staff attends local community forestry training. The District supports two ISA certified arborists and also has municipal tree specialists on staff. Having trees on school sites spread across the city means grounds maintenance staff face diverse management issues. School staff members were praised for use of inventory data, soils information, building design and aesthetics to “put the right tree in the right place.” All trees on school grounds are on a regular pruning cycle. New trees are often planted in cooperation with citizen donations, faculty consultation and the local NeighborWoods Program.

Marshfield’s Tree City USA Committee was honored for its work at the city’s Rotary Park. The committee’s work with local volunteers saved the city more than $30,000. The committee members were praised “for their dedication, perseverance and resilience to further the message of community forestry.”

Nominations for this year’s awards were evaluated based on sustainability, use of sound tree management principles, effectiveness, size of area affected and innovation. People can learn more about the benefits of trees at