Tree City USA is a national recognition program that began in 1976 and is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and National Association of State Foresters. By meeting four fundamental standards, an incorporated municipality of any size can qualify. Here is how we accomplished our goal of being recognized for our efforts to maintain and restore our tree canopy:
First Standard: Establish a Tree Board. With great forward thinking, Mayor Brandt Davis and the city council approved the establishment of a 3-member tree board in 2014 and appointed Jane Ecker, Joe Hinkle, and Mary Mattingly to the inaugural board.
Second Standard: Enact a Tree Care Ordinance. Modeling the ordinance after others in the state, the mayor and council passed a tree care ordinance, initiating the process of protecting our tree canopy.
Third Standard: Allocate $2 per capita to a community forestry program. St. Regis Park, in hiring Cindi Sullivan as our city arborist, surveying city trees, and planting 88 trees in a year-and-a-half, dedicated approximately $25 per capita in 2015 to our efforts, which we call Re-Tree the Park.
Fourth Standard: Proclaim and Observe Arbor Day. Last year we celebrated Arbor Day by presenting the results of our front-yard tree survey, playing games with the children, describing our efforts to citizens who attended, and raffling off a beautiful crepe myrtle. This year we are thrilled to announce that our Tree City award will be formally presented at the celebration on April 23rd, at 2 PM, in the Ascension cafeteria. We hope you will join us for the presentation, the awarding of an inaugural Tree Hero award to a citizen/family supporting our efforts to maintain a healthy tree canopy, another ornamental tree raffle, the announcement of a year-long tree photo contest (Start photographing your tree in all four seasons!), activities for children, and refreshments.
Being named a Tree City is not the end–it is just the beginning of our efforts to maintain and add to our tree canopy. As I write this column, there is an article in the Courier-Journal (“City Struggles to Dig Out of Deep Tree Deficit”, James Bruggers, 2-29-16) about the city of Louisville’s efforts to add more trees to the canopy in the Metro area–we feel we are leading the way with our progressive efforts!
We are happy to announce that we are taking applications for trees in back yards as well as front and side!!!!! So please get in touch with us by the end of March to get on our list. You may email tree board member Mary Mattingly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the city phone line at 654-8145 to leave your name, address, phone number, email address, and which part of your yard you hope to have a tree planted!
Please join us on April 23rd to celebrate our new status as a Tree City USA, and sign up now for your chance to help Re-Tree the Park!
The St. Regis Park Tree Board