Tree City USA Standards
4) An Arbor Day Observance and Proclamation
An effective program for community trees would not be complete without an annual Arbor Day ceremony. Citizens join together to celebrate the benefits of community trees and the work accomplished to plant and maintain them. By passing and reciting an official Arbor Day proclamation, public officials demonstrate their support for the community tree program and complete the requirements for becoming a Tree City USA!
This is the least challenging and probably the most enjoyable standard to accomplish. An Arbor Day celebration can be simple and brief or an all-day or all-week observation. It can include a tree planting event, tree care activities or an award ceremony that honors leading tree planters. For children, Arbor Day may be their only exposure to the green world or a springboard to discussions about the complex issue of environmental quality.
The benefits of Arbor Day go far beyond the shade and beauty of new trees for the next generation. Arbor Day is a golden opportunity for publicity and to educate homeowners about proper tree care. Utility companies can join in to promote planting small trees beneath power lines or being careful when digging. Smokey Bear’s fire prevention messages can also be worked into the event, as can conservation education about soil erosion or the need to protect wildlife habitat.
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