Tree City USA is a National Arbor Day Foundation Program that requires U.S towns and cities that develop comprehensive urban/community forestry programs.
Urban or Community Forestry
The urban forest stretches all the way from the center of town tot he suburban fringe of our community. It contains street trees, open green spaces, undeveloped forested areas, trees in City parks, and on public lands, and trees on private residential, commercial, and institutional land. Management of this valuable resource is known as urban/community forestry.
Becoming a Tree City
The City of Arlington applied to The National Arbor Day Foundation after meeting four standards:
- Established a tree board
- Created a community forestry program
- Proclaimed and celebrated Arbor Day
- Implemented tree planting and care requirements in the land use code (Chapter 20.76)
The Tree City program requires that the City spend $2 per capita on trees. They credit a City for dollars spent and staff time in that equation. The city 's existing tree care budget and staff time met the requirement without budgeting extra dollars for the Tree City program.
Benefits of Becoming a Tree City
Meeting the four criteria to become a Tree City provides a starting point for a community forestry program;
Being a Tree City opens an avenue for obtaining free quality educational programs for City staff and the community
A City's public image and citizen pride are important and being a Tree City shows that Arlington is a community that cares about its environment and quality of life now and into the future.
Preference is sometimes given to Tree City communities when allocations of grant money are made for trees and forestry programs.
Improve Water Quality
Trees reduce the impact of billions of raindrops resulting in less run off and erosion. This allows more recharging of the ground water supply. Wooded areas help prevent the transport of sediment and chemicals into streams.
Improve Privacy & Property Values
Trees can provide excellent living privacy screens between homes, streets, commercial, and industrial areas. They can be used to create a distinctive individual environment. Research has shown that residential property values are increased by 3% to 6% with attractive landscaping and mature trees.
Create Wildlife Diversity
Trees provide a local ecosystem by providing habitat for animals and birds that would otherwise be absent from urban areas.
Picture Arlington without trees. Would you still like to live here? Let's make sure our community continues to enjoy its rich environmental heritage for generations to come.