Monday, August 27, 2012

City launches Reforest Rolla program

By Rolla Mayor Bill Jenks, III
Protecting. preserving and restoring our environment today, and for generations to come, are all goals of the newly launched Reforest Rolla program that began recently with a mailing of 9,200 Reforest Rolla brochures to all households in the City of Rolla. 

Spearheaded by the City’s Engineering Division in the Public Works Department, the program will eventually lead to a comprehensive management plan to preserve and care for our tree resources, and will reduce the amount of storm water runoff and erosion by “recycling” rainfall through absorption and evaporation.

When instituted, the program will consist of the adoption of a tree management ordinance, the development of the “Reforest Rolla Commission,” the planting of, approximately 100 trees per cycle to be purchased utilizing city funds, a citywide tree inventory, and eventual recognition as a Tree City USA. By using funds from a Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance (TRIM) grant program, the city developed the brochure to educate the citizens of Rolla on the Reforest Rolla program as well as the benefits of trees. The TRIM grant is a competitive cost-share program provided and administered by the Missouri Department of Conservation in cooperation with the Missouri Community Forestry Council and the U.S. Forest Service. It provides financial assistance for the management, improvement or conservation of our community forests.

In an age of stricter regulations for storm water pollution prevention, erosion control is of utmost importance. Trees absorb rainwater that would otherwise end up in the storm sewer and have their own system of deterring the erosive action of rain. 

One of the best aspects of the Reforest Rolla program is that it will offer trees, free of charge, to homeowners within the corporate limits of Rolla. An individual may request more than one tree, however due to the popularity of the program, only one will be planted per year. Three types of trees are offered with three varieties of each; flowering trees, shade trees and “fall color” trees. The trees must be placed on public right-of-way unless a waiver is provided. The City of Rolla will provide and plant the trees twice a year, in the spring and fall, following an inspection of the desired planting location. The property owner will then agree to adopt the tree for the first two years of its life, providing water, maintenance and required pruning. For those trees located in public right-of-way, should the tree die, the property owner may contact the city for a replacement. There is no limit on the number of trees a property owner may request, however the number planted will be based on space requirements. 

To learn more about the Reforest Rolla program, or to review the Reforest Rolla brochure designed and written by Anne McClay, Project Coordinator in the City’s Engineering Division, please visit the City’s newly developed Webpage at or send an e-mail to Copies of the brochure area also available in the lobby of Rolla City Hall at 901 N. Elm Street. 

Enjoy the great weather we are having in the Ozark Highlands, and have a safe week!

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