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MSU, CU, and City of Springfield Honored for Conserving Trees

MSU, CU, and City of Springfield Honored for Conserving Trees
Photo credit: ArborFoundation.org

Monday is Earth Day, and some organizations are making an effort to conserve trees in the area. KSMU's Rebekah Clark has more.

The Arbor Day Foundation and other national organizations are honoring several local groups for conserving trees.  Francis Skalicky is a spokesman with the Missouri Department of Conservation.

“Missouri State University will become only the fifth college in Missouri to receive a Tree Campus USA Award. At the same event, City Utilities of Springfield is receiving a Tree Line USA Award and the City of Springfield is also the Tree City USA designation for the 28thyear. Basically, they had to do some kind of above and beyond the normal requirements of Tree City to get a Tree City USA growth award.”

This is the 19thTree Line USA award for City Utilities. In order to get the award, an organization must follow industry standards for pruning, tree removals, planting, trenching and tunneling near trees.

Many of the trees scattered among the Missouri State campus have small labels on them describing the name, type, and a short description of the tree.

“Part of the requirements to be a Tree Campus USA is that you must have a campus tree management organization, as well as student community involvement in forestry conservation practices. As I said, everybody thinks of trees as being pretty. They do have a value from an aesthetic standpoint. But they also have a lot of other value.”

For example, Skalicky says one single tree produces enough oxygen for ten people to breathe for a whole year. Also, one acre of trees can remove 13 tons of dust and gases in the air each year. And, Skalicky says, each year the average Missourian uses the equivalent of one tree—that’s 100 feet tall and 18 inches in diameter—just for their own personal paper needs.   

Springfield is also being awarded the Tree City USA Sterling Community honor. Skalicky says only five other Missouri cities have been named Sterling Communities.

For KSMU News, I’m Rebekah Clark.