Monday, December 10, 2012

Reforest Rolla program off to great start

I’m pleased to share with our residents and readers that the first season of the City’s recently launched Reforest Rolla program has resulted in the planting of 85 new trees among various residential properties in the Rolla community.
Some of the trees were also planted in front of the Community Garden that is located next to the Public Works Services Park on McCutchen Drive behind the Rolla Recycling Center. The trees were planted by the Public Works Department so the public can see what the various species and sizes of trees look like. The next opportunity to place an order for a free tree through the Reforest Rolla program will be in the Spring of 2013 when the next phase of the program continues.
Spearheaded by the City of Rolla’s Engineering Division in the Public Works Department, the Reforest Rolla 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. Trees absorb rainwater that would otherwise end up in the storm sewer.
Did you know, for instance, that over a 50 year lifetime, a tree can recycle nearly $37,500 worth of water, all the while reducing pollutants and protecting the environment? This is because trees absorb rainwater that would otherwise end up in the storm sewer along with sediment and pollutants. In fact, urban and community reforestation is becoming a more popular technique daily. Trees naturally filter sotrmwater and reduce runoff and erosion. They have energy saving benefits associated with them and are aesthetically pleasing.
The Reforest Rolla program will lead to the adoption of a tree management ordinance, the development of the “Reforest Rolla Commission,” the planting of approximately 100 trees per cycle/season; a city-wide 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 a Reforest Rolla brochure (that was mailed to 9,200 households in the City of Rolla) to educate the citizens of Rolla on the Reforest Rolla program as well as the benefits of trees. The TRIM grant is 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.
I would like to express my appreciation and thanks to City’s Public Works Department, and especially the efforts of Anne McClay, Project Coordinator; Jolene Carson, Secretary; Don Humphrey, Foreman (Street Dept); and Len Mathis, Foreman (Street Dept.). Without their collaboration and team work this program would not have been the success that it is. I would also like to extend my appreciation to the Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri Community Forestry Council and U.S. Forest Service for their continued support and collaboration with this important program.
If you are interested in participating in the Reforest Rolla program in the Spring 2013, and would like to place an order for a free tree, or learn more about the program, please contact Anne McClay at 426-6955. Free Reforest Rolla brochures are also available in the lobby of Rolla City Hall (901 N. Elm Street) and at the Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center (located at 1311 Kingshighway).
Have an enjoyable weekend and a safe week!

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