Updated: Monday, 18 Apr 2011, 10:36 AM EDT
Published : Monday, 18 Apr 2011, 10:36 AM EDT
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Grand Rapids has been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA community a 13th time for its commitment to urban forestry.
The city met the four standards -- a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry program, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
Grand Rapids has also earned its first Tree City USA Growth Award for making significant improvements in areas such as education and public relations, partnerships, planning and management, and tree planting and maintenance.
"We commend Grand Rapids' elected officials, volunteers and its citizens for providing vital care for its urban forest," John Rosenow, chief executive and founder of the Arbor Day Foundation, said in a news release. "Trees provide numerous environmental, economic and health benefits to millions of people each day, and we applaud communities that make planting and caring for trees a top priority."
Communities that earn Tree City USA recognition not only have taken the time to meet the four standards, they know that trees promote healthier communities by filtering the air we breathe by removing dust and other particles; moderate climate, conserve water and provide vital habitat for wildlife; reduce the heat island effect in urban areas caused by pavement and buildings; and increase property values and reduce energy use and add beauty to our homes and neighborhoods.
The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service.
The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit, environmental and education organization of more than 1 million members, with a mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees.