Richmond Designated “Tree City USA” for 25th Consecutive Year

For a quarter century Richmond has been recognized annually with the designation of “Tree City USA” by the Arbor Day Foundation. Richmond is one of 54 cities and counties in the Commonwealth being honored for the 2015 calendar year. The designation comes just as Arbor Day celebrations are approaching on April 29. 

During each of the past 25 years the City has met the requirements for the designation, which include: a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation. According to the Arbor Day Foundation website, “The Tree City USA program provides direction, assistance and national recognition for your community. It’s the framework for a healthy, sustainable urban forestry program in your town. And the benefits are substantial.”

There are approximately 80,000 public trees on City-owned properties. They are maintained by certified arborists in the Urban Forestry Division (UFD). Mayor Dwight C. Jones has supported the division’s efforts to increase the number of trees through his initiative to plant nearly 2000 new trees annually over the past five years. 

When properly maintained, trees provide shade, reduce air pollutants, are aesthetically appealing, increase property values and provide a habitat for wildlife. 

In addition to the City arborists, a group of volunteers called the Richmond Tree Stewards who train under City arborists, work closely with the Urban Forestry Division to monitor the health of City trees and promote their ability to thrive and survive in an urban environment.

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