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For immediate release: October 24, 2008

City departments, non-profits partner on a new city-wide tree planting program

On Monday, Oct. 27, staff from Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation and Water Services will plant 675 trees on the Birmingham Wastewater Treatment Plant Farm property.

The Departments have teamed up to begin planting trees that will be grown and transplanted to city right-of-ways and public property. Each Spring and Fall, an additional 675 trees will be planted on one acre plots. The trees are expected to be ready to transplant in two years.

The Phase I Climate Protection Plan that was adopted by the City Council in 2006 recommended that the City plant 120,000 trees throughout the City over the next 12 years.

Planting trees at the Birmingham Farm Facility will provide many financial and environmental benefits to the City. The trees will reduce stormwater, improve air quality, reduce maintenance cost, reduce heat islands and improve property values. Studies indicate that trees provide an average of $123 in benefits annually. The program will also save more than $380,000 over the next five years by planting the trees by volunteers and not having to purchase the trees.

The trees are being provided by Forest ReLeaf of Missouri and volunteers from the Heartland Tree Alliance will help with the planting.

The trees will be watered and fertilized by Water Services staff as part of the land biosolids application process. Parks and Recreation staff and the Heartland Tree Alliance will provide nursery care while the trees are growing at the Birmingham Farm.

The program has also been recognized by MARC’s Sustainable Stories which recognizes programs that exemplify the qualities required to build sustainable communities. The project will be featured at a MARC workshop on November 6.

Photo opportunity: Parks and Recreation and Water Services Staff will be available on Monday, October 27 at 9 am to answer questions regarding the program and will be planting any remaining trees. To schedule an interview or for additional questions, call Colleen Doctorian, Water Services public information officer at 513-0232.

For more information on the city’s urban forestry plan or the Parks and Recreation Climate Protection Plan, contact Forest Decker, City of Kansas City urban forester, at 816-513-9575, email at forest_decker@kcmo.org.

The Kansas City, Missouri Water Services Department maintains and operates water collection treatment and distribution systems, stormwater management and wastewater collection and treatment for residential and business customers in Kansas City, Missouri. The department also sells water to 33 wholesale customers in the metro area and treats wastewater for 27 satellite customers. Operation of all three utilities is funded entirely by fees charged to customers based on their use of products and services, not taxes.

Parks and Recreation Mission: To improve the quality of life by providing recreational, leisure, and aesthetic opportunities for all citizens, and by conserving and enhancing the environment. We will accomplish this mission by providing quality programming, making the best use of existing resources, developing a supportive and influential constituency, developing effective collaborations and partnerships, and acquiring and preserving natural features.

    
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