In celebration of National Arbor Day, the state has announced its commitment to provide 2.5 million trees to Missouri youth over the next five years. The departments of Transportation and Conservation have teamed up to increase the state’s tree population through the new Trees for Tomorrow program. The program will supply more than 60 varieties of trees to various youth groups, including Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and 4-H groups.

MODOT Director Pete Rahn says the program will enable his department to replenish tree populations affected from road construction. Rahn says MODOT is one of the state’s largest landowners, owning close to 400,000 acres. He says the Trees for Tomorrow Program enables his department and the Conservation department invest in the beautification of Missouri.

Conservation Director John Hoskins says the $150,000 annual investment pays for than just trees. He says the program replenishes an important resource that provides clean air, increases property value and enhances recreation.  He adds that trees also offer psychological value, including relief from symptoms of attention deficit disorder and higher scores on self-discipline and concentration for girls.