Target: Achieve 30 consecutive years of Tree City USA status
Current performance: On Track
Founded in 1976 by the Arbor Day Foundation, the Tree City USA program celebrates green communities across America to promote a greener, healthier America by recognizing green communities nationwide. It provides a recommended framework for communities to manage and expand their urban forest. To earn a Tree City USA designation, a community must meet four core standards to be recognized as Tree City USA and must renew their commitment to these standards every year to maintain that status. These core standards include:
- Maintaining a tree board or department;
- Having a community tree ordinance;
- Spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry; and
- Celebrating Arbor Day.
The City of Tallahassee has been recognized as Tree City USA for 30 years. The City applies to the Arbor Day Foundation to renew its Tree City USA status at the end of every year. The application reports spending on tree care and maintenance, number of trees planted, and details about that year’s Arbor Day celebration. Various aspects of tree management are spread across several City departments including Planning, Community Beautification, Parks, Public Infrastructure, Growth Management and Electric Utilities. Staff from contributing departments cooperate in compiling information on projects relevant to maintaining and enhancing urban forestry efforts. Urban forestry metrics are being collected for the current year on an on-going basis. The City spends roughly $5 per capita on urban forestry and has been celebrating Arbor Day for over three decades in partnership with Leon County.
Additionally, the City has earned a Tree City Growth Award for the seventh consecutive year. The Growth Award recognizes Tree Cities that demonstrate higher levels of tree care. The City has earned Growth Awards for developing and approving an Urban Forest Master Plan, pursuing a complete public street tree inventory, tree planting in partnerships with property owners along canopy roads, and other community education efforts. Communities that earn 10 consecutive Growth Awards can achieve Sterling Tree City USA status. The City is on track to meeting this goal!
CBWM. Last updated: August 2022.