TRIM grant funds training for arborist training, certification

Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC’s) Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance (TRIM) grant program has again funded a Mizzou Botanic Garden (MUBG) proposal. The competitive, cost-share program, administered in partnership with the Missouri Community Forest Council, provides funding to assist with the management, improvement or conservation of trees on public lands. In the past, MUBG has used grant funds to remove at-risk trees and replace them with native species.


Landscape Services groundkeeper, Jeremy Grasela

A 2022 TRIM grant from the Missouri Department of Conservation is being used for International Society of Arboriculture training and certification for Jeremy Grasela, a MUBG/Landscape Services groundskeeper

This year, TRIM funding is being used to support training and testing for Jeremy Grasela, a Landscape Services groundskeeper, to become an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certified arborist. The certification will qualify him to work directly with the trees on campus.


Landscape Services’/MUBG’s Jenna Sommer, horticulture manager, and Blair Crosby, operations manager, are certified arborists, but, as Sommer pointed out In MUBG’s recent story about arboriculture, “There’s more that I don’t know about trees than I do.” Both said that certification has better prepared them to know what to look for when engaging a professional arborist, someone who has dedicated their life to the livelihood.


Grasela’s relationship to MUBG began in high school when he served as a volunteer. He worked as a temp for a couple of years before being hired fulltime in 2016. A groundskeeper since 2020, he works as a member of the operations crew mowing and maintaining east campus areas. He is a certified pesticide public applicator and has aerial lift operation certification.


Once ISA certified, Grasela will perform basic tree removals and pruning for the department in addition to his other duties. He said his interest in certification was piqued by past exposure and observation of other arborists while working on campus.


“Trees are everchanging and each species reacts to variables differently,” Grasela said. “By becoming an ISA certified arborist I’ll be able to make the campus safer and to improve the overall health of the existing trees.


“I’m glad for the opportunity,” Grasela said. “I am glad for the chance to further my knowledge and experience in this field as a university employee.”