Tree City USA Standards
3) A Community Forestry Program with an Annual Budget of At Least $2 per Capita
City trees provide many benefits—clean air, clean water, shade and beauty to name a few—but they also require an investment to remain healthy and sustainable. By providing support at or above the $2 per capita minimum, a community demonstrates its commitment to grow and tend these valuable public assets. Budgets and expenditures require planning and accountability, which are fundamental to good government, the long-term health of the tree canopy and the Tree City USA program.
To meet this standard each year, the community must document at least $2 per capita toward the planting, care and removal of city trees—and the planning efforts to make those things happen. At first this may seem like an impossible barrier to some communities. However, a little investigation usually reveals that more than this amount is already being spent by the municipality on its trees. If not, this may signal serious neglect that will cost far more in the long run. In such a case, working toward Tree City USA recognition can be used to re-examine the community's budget priorities and redirect funds to properly care for its tree resources before it is too late.
The Four Standards of Tree City USA
- A Tree Board or Department
- A Tree Care Ordinance
- A Community Forestry Program With an Annual Budget of at Least $2 Per Capita
- An Arbor Day Observance and Proclamation