The Mike Shade 100-yr. Gingko Tree in the shadow of Cornell Center for the Arts

JOPLIN, Mo. — Mike Shade was former chairman of the city of Joplin Tree Board. He passed away Friday, October 28, 2022 in Joplin. Mike will be remembered for his business, The Botany Shop, which he operated in town for decades.

But he will also be remembered for the Mike Shade Gingko Tree. The 100-yr-old tree stands in the shadow of the new Cornell Center for the arts near 7th and Wall Ave.

The Mike Shade Gingko Tree. This 100 yr. old gingko tree was saved from destruction by Mike Shade and will forevermore be known as the Mike Shade Gingko Tree.”

Foot stone, base of tree

Family of Shade told us the story in 2018 and we remember it today as he is laid to rest at Ozark Memorial Park in Joplin.

The Mike Shade Gingko Tree near 7th and Wall in Joplin.  Google Street View Map June 2019. 

About 2010 Mike was chairman of the city’s Tree Board. The tree was to come down as a new parking lot was being created. However Mike moved to save the rare tree.

The parking lot was delayed for years and designed to save the tree. This Gingko Tree is more than 100 years old.

Gingko trees are native to China, in some monasteries the Gingko trees are 1,500 years old.

This tree was saved long before the idea to create the new Cornell Arts Center, where Spiva Art Center Connect2Culture are located, which opens November 12, 2022 at 7th and Wall. 

How appropriate it will continue to stand close-by as a living memory of Shade. A man who brought so many plants and trees, breathing life, into the city of Joplin.

You can read Shade’s obituary here and sign the linked guestbook.

Stay with Joplin News First as we continue to cover news and stories where you live. Scroll below to sign up for our JLNews email list so you don’t miss an article.



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Cornell Complex nearing completion, the new home to Spiva Art Center and Connect2Culture

JOPLIN, Mo. — The Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex is nearing completion.  It will be the home of the Spiva Art Center and Connect2Culture.

Crossland Construction Company, Inc. has put in long hours at the Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex! Watch this time lapse video to see crews prepare sidewalks, grade and level the site, paint, polish floors, and install decorative wood paneling.” – Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Center

They are hoping to move into the new building in October and opening in November.

With the new larger space they are seeking new staff to join their team. Now seeking a facilities manager. Click here or scroll below for more information.

Stay with Joplin News First on KOAM News Now as we continue to follow this exciting project.


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