The board of aldermen Monday night approved the city partnering with Davey Resource Group to identify and inventory trees in the natural area at Veterans Memorial Park.

The city received a Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance (TRIM) cost-share grant through the Missouri Department of Conservation in cooperation with the Missouri Community Forestry Council and the United States Forest Service to complete the project.

Davey Resource Group was the only company to provide a proposal. The company served as a consultant to secure the TRIM grant and has worked with the city in the past.

“They are familiar with the area,” said Assistant City Administrator James Schmieder. “They’re familiar with the city and they’ve been a tremendous help throughout the process.”

In all, the project will cost $11,240. Of that, the grant covers $8,970 and the city is responsible for $2,270.

Project Plan

The company provided a multiphase plan for the project, which includes a woodland tree inventory, a tree risk assessment along the trail, a woodland management plan and public engagement.

The tree inventory will include individual location, species and size of main trees. In the trail assessment, a detailed inspection of trees along the newly installed trail will be evaluated and the group will look for trees that might post an “elevated risk” to park visitors. The trees will be mapped with risk mitigation strategies.

For the woodland management plan, a summary of tree inventory results will be compiled with recommendations to promote a natural forest system, reduce public safety concerns and protect wildlife habitats.

The group also will provide a guided walking tour and educational brochures explaining the city’s woodland management in the past, present and future.

“It is clear after visiting Veterans Memorial Park that the city of Union has a high standard of excellence. The park has amenities to engage a diverse population of citizens and visitors that recreate in the area. From an all-abilities play area to a multi-use walking path, the park spaces have been programed to activate the users. The 3-acre woodland along the southwest border should be no different,” the group noted in its proposal.

Through a woodland inventory and management plan, the health and function of the park’s woodland can be restored, the proposal said. Educational opportunities will arise as the city can demonstrate best management practices and encourage residents to take action on their own properties.

The project is expected to be complete by mid-April.