The Alaska Division of Forestry announced this week in a release that Juneau has been recertified by the National Arbor Day Foundation as Tree City USA.
To receive the Tree City USA designation, according to the release, a community must meet four criteria:
• Establish a board, commission, or department charged by ordinance to develop and administer a comprehensive city tree management program.
• Establish and follow a tree ordinance that gives a body responsibility for writing and implementing an annual community forestry work plan.
• Have a community forestry program with a budget of at least $2 per capita.
• Proclaim and celebrate Arbor Day. In Alaska, Arbor Day is the third Monday in May. This year it is May 21.
Other Alaska Tree Cities USA include Anchorage, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Fort Wainwright, Eielson Air Force Base, Sitka, Wasilla and the Ketchikan Gateway Borough.
The release stated the National Arbor Day Foundation, in partnership with the National Association of State Foresters, recognize communities around the nation that have programs that plant and maintain trees along streets, in parks and other public places. Community forests help create healthy cities by reducing air and water pollution, reducing runoff and flooding, countering climate change, and supporting retail activity. Tree City USA helps cities maximize these benefits by setting standards for planning, planting, caring for and investing in community forests.
For more information about the Tree City USA program, community forestry or caring for community trees, visit the Alaska Community Forestry Program’s website at http://forestry.alaska.gov/community.