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Communities receive Tree City USA honor

The Village of Sparta, Village of Howard City, and the City of Rockford have all been honored with the designation “Tree City USA.”

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Arbor Day Foundation today announced this week that 121 Michigan communities have received the “Tree City USA” designation for their promotion of community forestry during 2011. Communities are certified for work accomplished in 2011 and will be presented with their awards materials to coincide with Arbor Week in Michigan (April 22-28).

The Tree City USA program promotes proper tree care and management in urban areas and raises awareness about the economic, health and aesthetic benefits trees offer. To be eligible to participate, a community must meet the following four requirements:

* Have a designated board or department responsible for tree care issues;

* Have a local tree ordinance;

* Have a budget for public tree care of at least $2 per capita; and

* Have an annual Arbor Day celebration and official Arbor Day proclamation.

Since the program began in 1976, Michigan has seen a steady increase in the number of communities that have received “Tree City” certification. Michigan currently ranks 8th nationally in total number of certified communities.

“I encourage all communities to celebrate Arbor Day and adopt an official proclamation in support of the holiday,” said DNR Urban Forestry coordinator Kevin Sayers. “That’s typically the first step taken toward achieving the Tree City USA award, and it demonstrates a community’s real commitment to ensuring these valuable public assets.”

Learn more about the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree USA programs at www.arborday.org/programs.


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