Arbor Day Foundation Names Urbana Tree City USA and Growth Award Winner
Urbana was named a 2018 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management. The community also received a Tree City USA Growth Award for demonstrating environmental improvement and an increasingly higher level of tree care.
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.
Urbana achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
City of Urbana Arborist, Mike Brunk said that 2018 brought much needed green back to the community after numerous years of dedicated tree removals as a result of the emerald ash borer. Turns out it has been determined that 2018 was the best year for the Urbana Cooperative Tree Planting Program since it’s 40 year inception. Through this program, the Urbana Rotary and residents Dr. Holly Rosencranz and Warren Lavey joined efforts to provide the City of Urbana with over $10,000 for 85 new trees to line the streets of Urbana for the spring of 2018.
Later in 2018, Rosencranz and Lavey sponsored another $10,000 contribution for the planting of an additional 80 new street trees for the City. It was these efforts in part that helped Urbana receive the 2018 Tree City USA Growth Award.
The Urbana Rotary, Dr. Holly Rosencranz and Warren Lavey are back again supporting another round of spring planting in 2019 with another $10,000 for street trees.
“The generous donations from the community continue to move us closer to our goal of eliminating the 345 tree backlog in our tree planting schedule. The urban forest is important living infrastructure. Investment today will benefit the City of Urbana for decades to come,” Mayor Diane Wolfe Marlin said.
Urbana has one of the most diverse urban forests in the Midwest. Urbana values all of its trees not only as environmental and aesthetic treasures, but also as part of its history. The City takes great pride in being the first community in Illinois to receive the Tree City USA designation in 1976, the program’s inaugural year, and has maintained the Tree City USA distinction every year since. Anyone interested in joining in the Urbana Cooperative Tree Planting effort should contact the Urbana City Arborist, Mike Brunk at 217-384-2393.