The Pacific Park Board wants to conduct an inventory of all city trees to define health, condition and species in order to determine maintenance needs for a healthy tree population, according to Stephen Flannery III, park board president.

The parks department oversees the largest number of trees on city property and has been studying tree health for the past two years.

Missouri Department of Conservation funds are available to complete a city tree inventory through the department’s Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance (TRIM) program.

Speaking at the May 1 board of aldermen meeting, Flannery requested permission to apply for a TRIM grant to do the work.

The city applied for the grant from the state last year but missed an application deadline

“We want to apply again,” Flannery said.

TRIM is a competitive cost-share tree care program administered by the Department of Conservation in cooperation with the Missouri Community Forest Council. The program provides reimbursement of $1,000 to $10,000 to assist government agencies, public schools and nonprofit groups with the management, improvement or conservation of trees on public lands.

“I attended a workshop at the regional state forestry division,” Flannery said. “This is a matching 60-40 grant, but the city’s 40 percent match can be soft matches, such as employee cost and running dump truck hours can be applied toward the soft match.”

Flannery said he was seeking permission to proceed forward and also wanted approval of the amount the park board was seeking.

“We want to apply for $17,000. If the state gives us $10,000, the city has to come up with $7,000,” Flannery said. “An arborist will tell us how much we qualify for. Once we apply for the grant we have until May next year (2013) to execute the grant.”

Awards for this year’s grants will be made in September 2012.

If the grant is approved, a tree inventory will be conducted that includes the health, condition and species of each tree as well as an analysis of whether there is a good balance of trees.

The inventory would not be limited to trees within the city parks but will include trees on all city-owned property.

“This will let us know if we need to do maintenance on some on our trees,” Flannery said.