The city of Columbia and the University of Missouri System won grants from the Missouri Department of Conservation for community forest improvement.

The UM System Board of Curators received $10,000 for the planting and removal of trees, and the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department was awarded almost $7,000 for educational programs.

Brett O'Brien, the city's park natural resources supervisor, applied for the grant. He said the money will go toward arborist training for Parks and Recreation workers and raising their general skill levels.

"We want to keep the level of professionalism as high as we can," O'Brien said.

The grants are part of the conservation department's Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance program, known as TRIM.

"TRIM grants offer cost-share funding for government agencies, public schools and nonprofit groups to manage, improve or conserve trees on public lands," the department said in a news release.

In total, 38 grants adding up to over $300,000 were awarded across the state.

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

  • Liam Quinn is covering Missouri football. He is a senior from New Jersey studying magazine journalism.

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