At the June 2006 US Conference of Mayors conference in Las Vegas, the nation’s mayors passed two resolutions that recognize the importance of urban forests. Thanks to the efforts of Tree New Mexico and Tree Trust of Minnesota, Mayor Chavez of Albuquerque and Mayor Rybak of Minneapolis both sponsored the budget resolution in support of increasing the federal budget for urban forestry. This is the first time that the US Conference of Mayors has passed a resolution that specifies budget targets for federal investments in urban forest health.
This resolution helps to make the case that our nation’s urban forests are an important resource. You can download the resolution at: www.mayors.org — click on adopted resolutions in the upper left.
Mayor Jennie Stulz of Gastonia, who spoke at our member meeting in 2005, introduced a resolution urging mayors throughout the country to support community forestry programs in their cities. National Arbor Day Foundation and The Home Depot Foundation helped draw attention to the cause of trees at the mayors’ meeting in June through a planting ceremony in Las Vegas.
Now, with help from our friends at The Home Depot Foundation, urban forests have gotten another boost of support through the Foundation’s generous sponsorship of the Excellence in City Trees awards, a program of the US Conference of Mayors and The Home Depot Foundation. As a result, the US Conference of Mayors has formed a Task Force on Urban Forestry, chaired by Mayor Hannemann of Honolulu. This is great news!
We’re also very proud that the two winners in the large city category – Baltimore and Portland – are ACT member cities. Parks and People Foundation and Friends of Trees are doing amazing things in partnership with their city mayors, and this award program will help them do even more. You can look forward to learning about both of them at ACT’s Annual Member Conference on September 7 in Pasadena.
The US Conference of Mayors is an important organization for promoting policy and best practices in cities — send us your wish list of the best practices that you wish every mayor knew.
ACT will be meeting with Mayor Rybak of Minneapolis and with Mayor Cownie of Des Moines the week of June 12th, and will be sure to convey our appreciation.