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Springfield, MO — The Springfield-Greene County Park Board has completed a tree inventory at nearly all 104 developed parks sites, providing tools for documenting tree health, maintenance and economic benefits.
A total of 10,976 trees have been inventoried within developed areas in parks, golf courses, School-Parks and other facilities. These trees are in areas actively maintained by parks staff, and subject to health monitoring, pruning, and, if needed, removal. The current inventory does not include Ritter Springs, Greenway trail corridors and undeveloped wooded areas that are not actively maintained. Adding these areas would likely increase the total to more than 70,000.
The inventory was made possible by a Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance (TRIM) grant from the Missouri Department of Conservation. The $24,750 grant covered costs for Davey Resource Group to take inventory at 16 locations, as well as provided Parks staff training and a three-year subscription to inventory software.
Using the training, Park staff continued the inventory to include 102 parks sites — every park in the system except Springfield Botanical Gardens at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, which was inventoried in 2016, and Ritter Springs, a 245-acre park that’s largely undeveloped.
The inventory itself was conducted fall and winter months of 2019, using computers in the field, aerial photographs and Geographic Information System (GIS) information.
Ben Kellner, Parks Supervisor overseeing the Forestry Division, said the inventory helps staff prioritize tree maintenance and future planting projects.
“We can search trees that need to be removed, dead trees, stumps, etc., and a work history on each individual tree, all from a desktop or iPad,” said Kellner. “In addition to the immediate risk reduction, this comprehensive inventory provides information to maximize the long-term benefits of the urban forest, for increasing the quality of life in our community.”
Kellner said the biggest surprise from the inventory was the estimated $613,232 annual economic benefit inventoried trees provide: an average of $59.87 per tree, per year. This amount is based on a US Forest Service formula, taking into consideration each tree’s annual carbon dioxide sequestration, gallons of runoff water absorbed, energy savings provided by shade, pollution absorption and aesthetic and property values.
The Park Board’s tree inventory is accessible to the public at https://springfieldmo.treekeepersoftware.com/
For media inquiries, contact Jenny Fillmer Edwards, Public Information Administrator for the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, at 417-224-5510 (mobile).