Memorial/Heritage Program – Tree and Bench Donations

Contact Information:

Parks Management Center
1507 Bus. Loop 70W
Columbia, MO 65202
Phone: 573-874-7201


Sponsored by Columbia Parks and Recreation, the Memorial/Heritage Tree and Bench Program allows groups and individuals to donate trees or benches to commemorate special events, honor individuals or agencies, or as memorials to loved ones to be placed on City-owned parkland. Trees and benches purchased through the program are planted and/or placed in city parks, trails, golf courses, and playgrounds. Exact placement is at the discretion of the Parks and Recreation Department. Payment is due at the time order is placed. These donations qualify as a charitable contribution tax deduction. (For more information on charitable contributions see IRS Publication #526.)

In addition to this program, you can remember a friend or family member through a memorial gift to the Parks and Recreation FundThe Fund provides an avenue for citizens to contribute to help sustain and augment Parks and Recreation programs and facilities


Cost of the tree program is $400 per tree. This includes the tree, plaque and ongoing maintenance of the tree  (pruning, mulching, etc.).  After the tree is planted, the donor will receive a map of the planting location for each tree. A donation certificate is available upon request. Trees ordered from March 16 through Sept 15 will be planted in the late fall. Trees ordered from September 16 through March 15 will be planted in the spring. Plaques will be installed 6 – 8 weeks following planting. Trees are living things and longevity cannot be guaranteed. Trees that succumb during the first 10 years will be replaced at no additional expense. 

Please contact the Parks and Recreation Forester, (573) 874-7520,  prior to submitting the application for information on which trees and locations are available for planting. Payment is due at the time the order is placed. Printable order form. (under construction)

Newly Planted Memorial Tree
Memorial Tree Plaque
Heritage Tree Plaque
Types of Trees
Swamp White Oak Sugar Maple
Bald Cypress Redbud
Bur Oak Yellowwood
Sycamore/London Planetree Tulip Poplar
Red Maple Pitch/Loblolly Pine

For more information, please contact the Parks and Recreation Forestry office at:

Forestry Division
Parks Management Center
1507 Bus. Loop 70W
Columbia, MO 65202

Phone: (573) 874-7520

E-mail: Dave Dittmer, Forester
dave.dittmer@como.govcreate new email


Park bench

Honoring The Presidents, Board, Administrator and Musicians of The Columbia Civic Orchestra Established 1993


A Memorial/Heritage Bench placed in perpetuity is a unique way to celebrate family, friends, and important events. Payment is due at the time the order is placed. Benches are made of environmentally-friendly recycled plastic lumber. The installation price includes labor, materials, maintenance, and a 2″ x 10″ zinc plaque. Benches will be installed at approved sites within four months after payment and approval of plaque text.  


Pre-approved park or trail locations (see below bench plans or submit a request) – $1,500*

*Customized park and trail locations, not shown on a park bench plan,  are available for $2,500.  Exact bench locations require staff approval. Select park and trail locations are closed due to reaching maximum capacity.  Price includes labor, materials, lifetime maintenance, and design/purchase of a  10″ x 2″ zinc plaque. 


Benches can be requested at select Columbia parks and trails until they reach maximum capacity. 

THE FOLLOWING PARKS AND TRAILS HAVE REACHED MAXIMUM BENCH CAPACITY:  Cosmo Park, Cosmo-Bethel Park, Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary,  Flat Branch Park, Forum Nature Area, Grindstone Creek Trail, Grindstone Nature Area, Hinkson Creek Trail (between Grindstone and the MKT), MKT Nature and Fitness Trail (between Flat Branch and the trailhead at Scot Blvd.),  Scott’s Branch Trail, Stephens Lake Park, Twin Lakes Recreation Area with the exception of the “small and off-season dog park.” Columbia Parks and Recreation Department reserves the right to limit other locations as needed. 

The following parks have a specific bench plan. Please use the links to view the bench plan and make your choice from available locations.  For locations not listed below or previously noted as unavailable please contact Janet.Godon@como.govcreate new email or (573) 441-5495.

A program to replace the old wooden style Memorial/Heritage benches approaching 10+ years old with the new recycled plastic lumber benches began in 2009.

For more information on the Memorial/Heritage Bench Program, contact:

Memorial/Heritage Bench Program
Parks Management Center
1507 Bus. Loop 70W
Columbia, MO 65202

Phone: (573) 441-5495

E-mail: Janet Godon, Planner

Where does the City purchase the recycled lumber benches and plaques? The recycled-lumber benches are the 6′ Contour model with cedar colored recycled plastic lumber manufactured by Kay Park Rec Corp, The plaques are 10″ x 2″ zinc with raised lettering.