This month marks the 40th anniversary of the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA program. The city of Urbana is celebrating 14 years as a Tree City USA, recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management.
Arbor Day will be observed in Urbana at 1 p.m. on Friday, April 29, at the Urbana University Student Center.
On April 21, representatives from Urbana attended the Central Ohio Tree City USA Awards in Westerville to receive this award.
The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.
The city achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: A tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita; and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation. In 2015, Urbana met all of these requirements, including $2.06 per capita being spent on community forestry expenditures.
“Everyone benefits when elected officials, volunteers and committed citizens in communities like Urbana make smart investments in urban forests,” said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Trees bring shade to our homes and beauty to our neighborhoods, along with numerous economic, social and environmental benefits. We congratulate the city of Urbana on its 14 years of commitment to this program. Sixteen of the original Tree City USA communities are celebrating 40 years in 2016.”
Trees are assets to a community when properly planted and maintained. They help to improve the visual appeal of a neighborhood, increase property values, reduce home cooling costs, remove air pollutants and provide wildlife habitat, among many other benefits.
More information on the program is available at arborday.org/TreeCityUSA.