OLYMPIA – Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark today celebrated Washington State’s Arbor Day at events in Vancouver and on the West Capitol Campus in Olympia.
“Planting and caring for trees is important for the environment and for livable, healthy cities,” said Commissioner Goldmark. “Arbor Day is a great time to think about how you can plant and maintain trees in urban areas throughout the state to encourage their multiple benefits.”
There are events in communities throughout the state during the month of April to celebrate Arbor Day. In Washington, there are now 77 cities with the distinction of Tree City USA.
To be acknowledged by the Arbor Day Foundation, a city must designate staff to care for trees, appoint a citizen tree board to advocate for community forestry, establish a tree ordinance, spend at least $2 per capita on tree care, and celebrate Arbor Day.
In Vancouver, Goldmark celebrated the City of Vancouver’s 21st Tree City USA Award and its 11th Growth Award. Growth Awards are given to Tree City recipients who have a track record of going above and beyond in the care of their urban forests. Clark Public Utilities received its 11th Tree Line USA Award by helping to plant a tree in the city’s Mayor’s Grove.
In Olympia, Goldmark recognized four cities that earned the Tree City USA title for their efforts in keeping urban forests healthy and vibrant:
· City of DuPont received its 1st Tree City USA Award
· City of Lacey received its 19th Tree City USA Award
· City of Olympia received its 17th Tree City USA Award and its 6th Growth Award
· City of Tumwater received its 15th Tree City USA Award
Goldmark also acknowledged Puget Sound Energy for their work last year in promoting tree-friendly practices. The company received its 10th Tree Line USA Award.
Through the Department of General Administration (GA), the state has a Historic Landscape Preservation Master Plan with a Vegetation Management Plan to guide the care of the landscape of the West Campus over time. Commissioner Goldmark and representatives of the four cities and GA planted a Frontier Elm that was paid for by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Urban and Community Forestry Program. The Frontier Elm is one of the first trees to be planted under the management plan.
Urban and Community Forestry
DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program, guided by the Washington Community Forestry Council, works to educate citizens and decision-makers about the economic, environmental, psychological, and aesthetic benefits of trees. Program staff assist local governments, citizen groups and volunteers with planting and sustaining healthy trees and vegetation where Washington residents live and work.
Media Contact: Janet Pearce, Community Outreach and Environmental Education, 360-902-1122, firstname.lastname@example.org