LINCOLN, Neb., April 7, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Arbor Day Foundation, in partnership the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters, is celebrating 40 years of the Tree City USA program with 16 Tree City USA communities that have earned recognition since the inception of the program in 1976.
Tree City USA was designed to encourage better care of the nation's community forests by awarding recognition to communities that meet four basic standards of a good tree care program: a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
Tree City USA's national impact comes not only through the tree stewardship program but also from educational materials provided through bulletins, public service announcements, newspaper features, Spanish translations, and a variety of other publications and videos.
More than 137 million Americans live in the 3,400 Tree City USA communities. They benefit daily from the cleaner air, shaded streets, and aesthetic beauty that healthy, well-managed urban forests provide. Each community will hold celebrations on Arbor Day to mark this special anniversary. Additionally, people from across the country can get involved in a national photo sharing contest of their Tree City USA communities on the Arbor Day Foundation Facebook page.
"Everyone benefits when elected officials, volunteers and committed citizens make smart investments in urban forests," said Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation. "Trees bring shade to our homes and beauty to our neighborhoods, along with numerous economic, social and environmental benefits. We congratulate not only the original sixteen Tree City USA communities celebrating 40 years but all of the other communities who value urban forestry as well."
Proven to be an excellent program for all communities of any size, Tree City USA boasts their smallest participant as Sibley, ND with 28 residents and its largest as New York City with more than eight million. A complete list of Tree City USA communities and their anniversaries can be found at www.arborday.org
About the 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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SOURCE Arbor Day Foundation