A Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance (TRIM) grant has been awarded to the city of Union to identify and inventory trees in the natural area at Veterans Memorial Park.

The city applied for the grant in June based on the recommendation of the Urban Forestry Council.

The competitive grant is a cost-sharing program provided and administered by the Missouri Department of Conservation in cooperation with the Missouri Community Forestry Council and the United States Forest Service.

Assistant City Administrator James Schmieder, who also is on the Urban Forestry Council, said the grant will help the city know what needs to be preserved and align goals for the future.

“This will tell us what we’re dealing with on those 3 acres of property,” Schmieder said. “For it being a relatively small area, we’ve got a lot going on there.”

The inventory also will identify hazardous trees and maintenance needs.

Schmieder added that an inventory is important for sustainability and will add diversity to the park.

The goal is to create a natural, low wetland area without invasive plant species, he said.

The goal of the TRIM grant program is to encourage communities to have a sustainable, balanced and comprehensive community forestry program and to promote community forestry benefits through proper management and care of trees.

The total project cost is $11,870, of which the grant will cover 60 percent, or $8,970, and the city will pay the remaining $2,900.

City Administrator Russell Rost noted that the city has received a TRIM grant in the past, but the city didn’t have the property Veterans Memorial Park developed at the time of the last grant.