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Tree City USA: Celebrating the Importance of Urban Tree Canopies


Published 12-13-19

Submitted by Arbor Day Foundation

The Tree City USA program has strengthened and sustained urban forests across the country thanks to support of Foundation members and partners. From the Gulf of Alaska to the Gulf Coast, more than 155 million Americans are living in Tree City USA towns and cities that pay particular attention to tree planting, management, and care.

As a result, these communities enjoy profound environmental and community benefits, including lower urban temperatures, cleaner air and water, increased property values, lower energy bills, neighborhood beauty, and civic pride. The program has been the foundation for city forestry management, and its impact is deep and far-reaching. 

In its 43rd year, the Tree City USA program is still going strong ...helping communities strive for healthy tree canopies. As a sign of the program’s vitality, 84 communities applied for and received Tree City USA recognition for the very first time this year.

One such community is Galveston, Texas. In 2008, Hurricane Ike devastated the city’s urban tree canopy — wiping out nearly 35,000 trees. Then Hurricane Harvey made its way through in 2017, wreaking havoc once again. But as a community that celebrates Arbor Day every year and believes in the benefits trees provide, Galveston worked to restore its beloved tree canopy. The passing of a new tree ordinance in 2018 ensured that they could meet the requirements for recognition, so this became the first year Galveston can proudly fly their Tree City USA flag.

“A healthy urban tree canopy is critical, and we are committed to providing that for Galveston residents,” said Barbara Sanderson, director of community relations for the city of Galveston. “We are excited to join a network of like-minded communities dedicated to tree care.”

Tree City USA is the framework for sustained urban forests across the country. Thanks to our members and partners, the program’s 43-year impact is broad and enduring. Within the support of this framework, additional city foresters and arborists are hired, city budgets include worthwhile investments in trees, and millions of Americans are taking pride in community improvement.

View the Arbor Day Foundation 2019 Annual Report in its entirety. 

Danny Cohn
+1 (402) 473-9563
Arbor Day Foundation
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Arbor Day Foundation

Arbor Day Foundation

Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members, supporters, and valued partners. During the last 44 years, more than 250 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world.

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