Joplin, MO, May 20, 2012 — The Joplin “Spirit Tree,” one of the many trees in Joplin, Missouri that was destroyed by a deadly tornado that struck Joplin on May 22, 2011. The tornado killed 161 residents of Joplin, destroyed 25% of the town and generated $2.2 billion in property damage. This 40 ft. tree on 20th Street near the Kansas City Southern Railway tracks has been painted with vibrant colors inspired by Native American spirit stick art. After the tornado, the “Spirit Tree” was painted by Dolores and Darrel Bilke and members of the Tank, a public art group that has worked on other public murals in Joplin. The “Sprit Tree” is a symbol of the unity and resilience of the residents of Joplin. FEMA supports the recovery efforts of towns and communities like Joplin as they work to recover and rebuild after a disaster. Photo by Christopher Mardorf / FEMA.