Giving was the theme of Eldon's Board of Aldermen meeting Tuesday night, July 9th. Eldon Garden Club President Dave Hemminger was the first presenter to the board. He informed the group that the garden club had access to 75 free trees to replace damaged landscaping for Eldon residents.

Giving was the theme of Eldon’s Board of Aldermen meeting Tuesday night, July 9th. Eldon Garden Club President Dave Hemminger was the first presenter to the board. He informed the group that the garden club had access to 75 free trees to replace damaged landscaping for Eldon residents.

The gift is being offered by the Missouri Department of Conservation in conjunction with Forest ReLeaf of Missouri, based in St. Louis. Their Priority ReLeaf program serves financially underserved neighborhoods as well as communities struggling to replant trees after major disasters. After the 2011 tornado, Forest ReLeaf provided 8,000 free trees to Joplin to aid in their reforestation efforts.

The group’s mission is to assist with reforestation after major weather disasters and those undertaken to promote peace and healing in communities. The Eldon Garden Club has offered to provide the manpower to plant the gifted landscaping, and maintain the new trees that would be needed to replace damaged ones at the city’s parks. They also asked for the city’s assistance in identifying homeowners that you like to have replacement trees for their homes. Hemminger comments “We just want to offer our assistance to our town to help it be beautiful again, and to assist in anyway that we can with that.” He also shares that there are a few different varieties available including red and white oaks, redbuds, and river birch.

The Eldon Garden Club’s generosity was followed by a second landscaping gift offered by the group, 100 Empowered Women, represented by Linda Bierbower. Bierbower took the podium addressing the board with an offer of 25 foot trees for the town parks and entrances. That offer comes along with the promise to maintain the new plantings, so no city employees will be responsible. Those trees come with a 1 year warranty, so 100 Empowered Women will assume responsibility for the planting and care of the donated trees. Her group has received bids for professional installation by certified contractors, with landscaping. Their gift is an offer of 6 trees. Proposed varieties include red maples, red buds, dogwoods, and elm. Scrivner favors the Dogwood sharing “since it is the state tree, it would be nice to showcase it at Rock Island Park.”

Continued beautification efforts of the Parks department are ongoing, but the treeline revitalization is crucial for a few different reasons.

1. Trees provide natural cover and protection from winds and sun damage.

2. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and potentially harmful gasses, such as sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, from the air and release oxygen. One large tree can supply a day's supply of oxygen for four people.

3. The presence of larger trees in yards and as street trees can add from 3% to 15% to home values throughout neighborhoods. *www.moreleaf.org Each group’s donation offers will have to be voted on by the Eldon Board of Aldermen.

Hopefully, both presentations will make it onto the next set agenda for the city, and will gain board approval.