City a recipient of Arbor Day Foundation honor for 7th year in a row
MOUNT VERNON, April 1, 2022 – The City of Mount Vernon has once again received a Tree City USA Growth Award by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of the City’s commitment to effective urban forest management.
A Growth Award is bestowed upon a community alongside its Tree City USA recognition for demonstrating environmental improvement and a higher level of tree care. The Growth Award recognizes major milestones and annual activities in five categories on a point-based system to build sustainable community forestry programs over the long term such as building a team, measuring trees and forests, planning the work, performing the work and building the community framework.
For nearly three decades now, the City of Mount Vernon has been lauded for preserving its tree canopy for future generations. In recognition of these continuing efforts, the City has received a Tree City USA designation every year since 1993. This year’s Growth Award is the City’s seventh consecutive such honor.
“Tree City USA communities can experience the positive effects that an urban tree canopy has year after year,” said Dan Lambe, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “The trees being planted and cared for by Mount Vernon are ensuring that generations to come will enjoy a better quality of life. Additionally, participation in this program helps cultivate a sense of stewardship and pride for the trees the community plants and cares for.”
With the additional recognition of a Growth Award, Mount Vernon has demonstrated its expediency towards building a framework for sustainable urban forest management. Urban tree plantings help reduce energy consumption by up to 25 percent, which will reduce general energy costs and help with the overall cooling of the City as well. In addition, members of the community benefit from properly placed trees as they increase property values from 7 percent to 20 percent. Trees also positively affect the local ecosystem by helping to clean water and create animal habitats to encourage biodiversity.
The Tree City USA program was created in 1976, and is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities and the National Association of State Foresters. To earn a Tree City USA designation, a community must meet four criteria – a tree board or department; a tree care ordinance; a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita; and an Arbor Day proclamation and observance. For more information on the program, visit arborday.org/TreeCityUSA.