RICHMOND, Va. — The city of Richmond is being recognized as “Tree City USA” by a non-profit organization for the 25th consecutive year.
The Arbor Day Foundation has recognized Richmond and 53 other cities and counties in the Commonwealth for the 2015 calendar year. The foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization, whose mission is to make our world greener and healthier.
Over the last 25 years, Richmond has met the requirements for the designation, which include: a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
According to the Arbor Day Foundation website, “The Tree City USA program provides direction, assistance and national recognition for your community. It’s the framework for a healthy, sustainable urban forestry program in your town. And the benefits are substantial.”
According to the Department of Public Works, there are approximately 80,000 public trees on City-owned properties. They are maintained by certified arborists in the Urban Forestry Division.
Mayor Dwight C. Jones has supported the division’s efforts to increase the number of trees through his initiative to plant nearly 2000 new trees annually over the past five years.
When properly maintained, trees provide shade, reduce air pollutants, are aesthetically appealing, increase property values and provide a habitat for wildlife.
The Tree City USA designation comes just as Arbor Day celebrations are approaching on April 29.