The City of Wauseon was again recognized as a Tree City USA during last week’s awards ceremony, hosted by the villages Arcadia and Ottawa, the City of Findlay, the University of Findlay, and their tree commissions. This marks the 29th time Wauseon has been honored with this nationally recognized award.
The awards were presented to the Tree City and Tree Campus USA communities by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Division of Forestry. Featured speaker Tyler Stevenson, Urban Forestry Program Coordinator with the Ohio Division of Forestry, shared happenings in public tree care programs and projections for the future.
The title of Tree City USA is bestowed on communities for their ongoing efforts to maintain and improve quality of life through a comprehensive tree management program. The program is guided by the Tree Commission and municipal government.
The Ohio DNR Division of Forestry’s Urban Forestry Assistance Program acts as a guiding hand in helping a community to become qualified as a Tree City. The regional urban forester recommends a community to the Arbor Day Foundation for this standings.
To achieve the title, a community must meet four standards:
• A tree ordinance.
• An active tree commission or forestry department.
• A comprehensive urban forestry program supported by a minimum of $2 per capita.
• An annual Arbor Day proclamation and public observance.
Ohio has the largest number of Tree Cities in the country for the 44th consecutive year, according to the Division of Forestry. There are 52 Tree Cities in Northwest Ohio alone.
Started in 1976, Tree City USA is one of the Arbor Day Foundation’s oldest programs.
The first Tree City USA cohort was comprised of 42 communities in 16 states. Today, the program includes more than 3,600 communities from all 50 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico.
Archbold and Swanton are also recognized as Tree Cities.