For our forestry to truly flourish, the entire community needs to understand the importance of tree care and the benefits of urban forestry. Tree City USA is a program created by the Arbor Day Foundation that aims to create and improve management systems of urban forestry. Roughly 3,400 communities have received the Tree City USA recognition with our fair share right here in Minnesota.
In order for a community to receive Tree City USA recognition, they must meet four standards. The list may seem daunting but the Tree City USA website offers many resources, including an e-newsletter and materials for recognized communities, simplifying the improvement of a community’s forestry management process. These standards were established with the intent of creating promising plans and programs for each community, no matter the size. The standards are:
- A Tree Board or Department
- A Tree Care Ordinance
- A Community Forestry Program With an Annual Budget of at Least $2 Per Capita
- An Arbor Day Observance and Proclamation
Becoming a Tree City USA community does not just mean having neighborhoods that are aesthetically pleasing. In addition to the beauty that comes with an increased focus on the care of your surrounding landscape, benefits include:
- Providing community members with an understanding of the value and importance of caring for and protecting our trees.
- Improving the quality of community and individual property.
- Supporting the cooperation between private and public sectors.
- Reflecting well on the community as a whole.
There are 100 Tree City USA communities in Minnesota. Our state has always taken great pride in our forestry, and we are proud that so many cities are taking steps toward improving their environments. Ostvig Tree Care serves several of the communities on the list, including:
- Apple Valley
- St Paul
- White Bear Lake
The Tree City USA is a wonderful initiative because of the education and focus it brings to urban forestry. Trees are critical to your landscape and by implementing management plans and programs we are setting our communities up for success today and tomorrow.