Posts Tagged ‘Tree City USA’

Happy Arbor Day! Celebrate trees today and every day

April 8, 2014
Yvonne Sun, a fifth-grader at Clyde Hill Elementary School in Clyde Hill, was Washington State’s winner in 2010 of the National Arbor Day Foundation’s Arbor Day Poster Contest. She demonstrates what trees mean to her.

Yvonne Sun, a fifth-grader at Clyde Hill Elementary School, was Washington State’s winner in 2010 of the National Arbor Day Foundation’s Arbor Day Poster Contest. She demonstrates what trees mean to her.

Arbor Day is a celebration of trees and the many benefits they offer. Today is Arbor Day, and you might want to thank a healthy tree near you by taking good care of it. If you plant the right tree in the right place, the benefits will keep on giving: clean air, clean water, shade on a hot day, and habitat for wildlife.

One way we celebrate Arbor Day is through a special program called Tree City USA®. DNR and the Arbor Day Foundation recognize Tree City USA communities across the state for the dedicated efforts they invest in managing and caring for trees in their community. Communities that earn the Tree City USA award do so by meeting criteria that demonstrate their commitment to healthy community trees and forests, now and into the future.

To be acknowledged as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation, a city must designate staff to care for trees, appoint a citizen tree board to advocate for community forestry, establish a tree ordinance, spend at least $2 per capita on tree care, and celebrate Arbor Day. In doing so, Tree City USA communities are investing in a future that is healthy, vibrant, and sustainable.

The investments we make in community trees are very real. Trees pay us back in the form of benefits or “ecosystem services” they provide. See for yourself…pick a tree in your neighborhood, measure the diameter, and discover exactly what benefits it provides. You’ll be happily surprised! The healthier your trees, the greater benefits they return.

Be sure to never top a tree. Tree topping, best described as the indiscriminate removal of limbs resulting in a reduction of a tree’s height, will reduce tree health, increase tree-related risks, and create costly maintenance needs each year. Branches and leaves that re-sprout from a topped tree will grow very rapidly, are weakly attached, and rob the tree of precious energy, making it more likely to break in storm events. On the other hand, a healthy tree that is properly cared for will provide greater benefits and may only need pruning every five years or so. Learn to prune trees properly and your trees will be healthier, stronger, longer-lived, and less expensive to maintain.

Washington State has 84 Tree Cities. Is your city is a Tree City USA? Click here to find out.

Be a part of Arbor Day and celebrate the healthy trees all around us! If your community isn’t part of the Tree City USA Program, contact your city officials to find out why. You might be more qualified than you think! The Tree City USA program is designed so that any incorporated city or town can get involved, regardless of location, size, or economic standing. Make your community a Tree City USA and help them plan to take part in the Arbor Day celebrations next year.

DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program works with cities and towns throughout Washington State to help them plant, preserve, and maintain the trees that make our cities and towns wonderful places to live, work and play.

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2014 grant season is underway

January 7, 2014
Trees in Tacoma

With a grant from DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program, the City of Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood planted trees in celebration of Arbor Day.

DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program plans to offer three types of grants in 2014: Community Forestry Assistance Grants, Inventory Grants, and Tree Planting Grants. Grant applications will be available on our grant resources page by mid-January. If your community is a Tree City USA, the announcement and links to applications will be sent directly to your community’s Tree City USA contact.

Grants, offered in partnership with the US Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry program, may be awarded to local units of government, 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, or tribal governments. Community tree volunteer groups and neighborhood associations, while not directly eligible to apply, are encouraged to develop their projects in conjunction with an eligible organization.

Examples of projects that may be funded through Community Forestry Assistance grants include:

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Hooray for Arbor Day in Washington: Are you living in a ‘Tree City USA’ community?

April 10, 2013
Photo: Guy Kramer.

Photo: Guy Kramer.

Today is Arbor Day, a celebration of trees and all the great things they do for us in Washington State. We celebrate Arbor Day through a special program called Tree City USA® which recognizes cities and towns that go the extra mile to manage and care for healthy urban forests. That extra mile includes planning the maintenance of vigorous city trees, now and into the future.

Now is a great time to properly prune your trees. As you do, be sure to never top a tree. Topping—radical removal of a large part of the tree’s crown—may get rid of a few problem limbs, but in the long run you will end up doing more maintenance each year. After a tree is topped, it grows suckers (weakly attached limbs); you’ll have a mess on your hands and a potentially hazardous situation. Learn to property prune now to lessen the damage next time storms hit.

Find out if your city is a Tree City USA–there may be special programs to celebrate trees in your community this month.

If your city isn’t part of the Tree City USA Program, contact your city officials to help them plan Arbor Day celebrations next year. Sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the US Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters, Tree City USA® provides technical assistance and national recognition for urban and community forestry programs in thousands of towns and cities.

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Tree planting grants offered to local Tree Cities; first come, first served

March 13, 2013
Increasing the tree canopy is becoming a bigger issue for cities, as they plan for healthier communities.

Increasing the tree canopy is becoming a bigger issue for cities, as they plan for healthier communities.

DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program is excited to announce that funding is available for tree planting projects. Only cities who are one of our Tree City USA communities can apply. Nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, or tribal governments may apply in partnership with designated communities.

 The 2013 Tree City USA Tree Planting Grants provide financial assistance to communities working to achieve the goal of a self-sustaining community forestry program by properly planting trees to increase canopy cover. Applicants can apply for up to $10,000 for trees to be planted in their community to enhance urban forests. Although there is a lot involved when planting trees, the funding may not be used to buy the tree seedlings.Though not required, matching funds are encouraged as a demonstration of community commitment to the urban forestry program. Staff and volunteer time, tree planting materials, and other associated costs may be used as match. Projects must be completed by December 31, 2013.

Check out the grant resources webpage for more information on tree planting grants.

Funds for this project are made possible through the USDA Forest Service in cooperation with DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program. This is a one-time grant opportunity available to Washington’s Tree City USA Communities.

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It’s official: Renton is a ‘Tree City USA’

May 8, 2012
Renton is a Tree City USA

State Forester Aaron Everett (left) presents Tree City USA honors to the City of Renton for its healthy urban forests. Accepting on behalf of the City are Terry Flatley (City Forester), and Mayor Denis Law (right). Photo: City of Renton.

On Saturday, April 28, Washington State Forester Aaron Everett presented the City of Renton with its fourth Tree City USA Award. Mayor Denis Law received the award at the city’s seventh annual Arbor Day-Earth Day Celebration.

Following the awards ceremony, 127 volunteers planted 66 trees (including 62 street trees) at 55 houses in Renton. Residents of North Renton Neighborhood who opted to have to one of the trees planted were able to select from a list of 14 tree species. The process means that instead of a monoculture of one species, there can be greater diversity in the city’s urban forest. 

With so many volunteers coming out to help, the plantings took about 90 minutes. If you’re in the North Renton area, take a look around for newly planted trees. The benefits from these trees will keep on giving to the City of Renton.

The project was made possible by a Community Forestry Assistance Grant from the U. S. Forest Service. This grant program is administered by DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program.

Find out if your city is a Tree City USA.


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