Fitchburg achieved Tree City USA recognition for the 26th consecutive year by meeting the program's four requirements: forming a tree board or department, creating a tree-care ordinance, having an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation. The City has received the Growth Award for 11 years. The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.
Tree City USA communities benefit from 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 Fitchburg ensure 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."
Planting trees in an urban space comes with a myriad of benefits past the recognition of this program. Urban tree plantings help reduce energy consumption by up to 25%, 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 7-20%. Trees also positively affect the local ecosystem by helping to clean water and create animal habitats to encourage biodiversity.
More information on the program is available at arborday.org/TreeCity/USA.
About the Arbor Day Foundation
Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members, supporters and valued partners. Since 1972, almost 500 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world. The vision is to lead toward a world where trees are used to solve issues critical to survival.
As one of the world's largest operating conservation foundations, the Arbor Day Foundation, through its members, partners and programs, educates and engages stakeholders and communities across the globe to involve themselves in its mission of planting, nurturing and celebrating trees. More information is available at arborday.org.