31. Urge your city to become a Tree City, USA

The National Arbor Day Foundation grants Tree City, USA status. Tree City status recognizes the city’s commitment to its trees. The designation continually reminds city officials of their commitment to the urban forest. The status supports further education, has a positive impact on a city’s image, builds pride among citizens and helps cities receive financial assistance in tree-related activities.

Areas of Interest: Connecting to Government, Networking
Ingredients: Initiative, determination
Directions: To become a Tree City, USA, there are four criteria your city must meet:
1) Establish and maintain a city tree board or tree department. A tree board is a group of concerned citizens, usually volunteer, charged by ordinance to develop and administer a comprehensive, tree management program. Tree boards usually function with the aid of professional foresters. In communities with a population of more than 10,000, city forestry departments with salaried employees are often feasible. These departments may or may not be supported by advisory boards or administrative commissions.
2) Implement a municipal tree care ordinance. Designate the official tree board or tree department and give them the responsibility to write and implement the annual community forestry work plan. The ordinance should determine public tree-care policies for tree planting, maintenance and removal.
3) Maintain a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita. The community forestry program is the essential, ongoing activity for the tree care along streets, in parks and other public places.
4) Celebrate Arbor Day with an annual observance and proclamation. An Arbor Day ceremony can be simple and brief, an all-day or all-week observance.
For more information, contact the National Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska City, NE, 68410. Toll free: 1-888-448-7337