"Tree City USA is an important and highly sought-after designation,"
said Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller.
"To be a Tree City USA community means wide local forest management
that knows how to properly place trees in a community so they can
provide the greatest benefits for erosion control, pollution
reduction, storm water management, air quality, energy savings and
beauty. We applaud these communities and their dedication to
maintaining a healthy community forest."
According to Dan Lambe of the National Arbor Day Foundation,
Illinois communities continue to go above and beyond Tree City USA
"The Arbor Day Foundation recognizes that Illinois has led the
nation in the overall number of Tree City USA communities receiving
Growth Awards, which represent a higher level of sustainable
commitment to community trees," Lambe said. "Those cities, towns and
villages are viewed as leaders and should be proud that their
programs and innovations serve as models for high-impact urban
The Tree City USA program promotes tree planting and care
programs in urban areas and calls public attention to the economic,
health and aesthetic benefits trees offer. Citizen participation in
community reforestation and beautification efforts is encouraged
through the program. The IDNR Urban and Community Forestry program
provides support to communities to assist in the battle against
exotic invasive species such as emerald ash borer.
To be eligible to participate in the Tree City USA program, a
community must designate a city official or volunteer tree advocate
as having authority over the management and care of its urban
forest; have a community tree ordinance that specifically recognizes
the designated tree authority and identifies urban forest management
and tree care standards that the community will abide by; expend $2
per resident for its urban forestry program (Illinois communities
have exceeded that national standard by expending an average of
$11.50 per capita); and conduct an annual Arbor Day tree planting
Illinois Tree City USA communities spend more than $83 million
collectively on tree planting and tree care. Management of local
urban forests helps to diversify the forest species within the
canopy while maintaining a safe environment for the community. Local
Tree City USA forestry programs help reduce storm damage and
potential outages through cooperation with utilities to reduce the
branch interference with power lines. Through local community
forestry programs, citizens are encouraged to plant the right tree
in the right location.
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In addition to the Tree City USA designation, 48 Illinois
communities are also being recognized with the Growth Award for
sustained and additional efforts to improve urban forests.
The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the National Arbor Day
Foundation and the IDNR Urban and Community Forestry program, in
cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the
USDA Forest Service. This year, the program is also sponsored by the
Illinois Public Health Association.
The annual application deadline for the Tree City USA program is
Dec. 31. Some of this year's awards were presented at ceremonies
yesterday (Tuesday) at the Starved Rock Lodge and Conference Center
in Utica, and others will be presented on April 1 at the IDNR
headquarters in Springfield.
On the Net:
Tree City USA:
[Text from file received]