In celebration of Urban and Community Forestry Month, Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark presented Tree City recognition to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray at Seattle’s annual Arbor Day celebration. Seattle hit their 30th Tree City USA anniversary at the Saturday, October 17, 2015 event.
The Tree City USA Program has been greening up cities across the US since 1976. It’s a nationwide movement that provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees. The award is given annually to cities that meet Tree City USA standards (have a Tree Board, a tree ordinance for public trees, a community forestry program, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation).
Of the 86 Tree City USA communities in Washington, only Ellensburg and Longview have been in the program longer than Seattle, with 32 and 31 impressive years respectively.
Seattle also received its 19th Tree City Growth Award. The Tree City USA Growth Award is awarded by the Arbor Day Foundation to recognize higher levels of tree care by participating Tree City USA communities. The Growth Award highlights innovative programs and projects as well as an increased commitment of resources for urban forestry. It also highlights new ideas and successes across the country.
Commissioner Goldmark also recognized Seattle City Light for their 2nd year as a Tree Line USA utility. DNR recognizes utility companies as Tree Line USA utilities when they commit to healthy tree care and maintenance, tree worker training programs, and community tree planting.
Trees and utility lines can come into conflict, but with careful planning of where new trees are planted and more attention to proper tree care, there’s no reason they cannot co-exist. The Tree Line Program recognizes best practices in public and private utility arboriculture, demonstrating how trees and utilities can exist side-by-side for the benefit of communities and citizens.
For more information on proper tree care, contact DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program.
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