RALEIGH, N.C. – In 2021, 80 North Carolina communities earned Tree City USA designations, and 16 college and university campuses earned Tree Campus Higher Education designations. Four utilities earned Tree Line USA designations for 2022, based on activities completed in 2021.
The N.C. Forest Service is proud to celebrate these communities, colleges and universities, and public and private utilities that make the commitment to improving care of city trees critical for protecting urban tree canopy cover.
“Achieving any of these acknowledgments reaffirms a community’s commitment to not only healthy urban tree canopy but also to tree conservation, clean air and water, reduced stormwater runoff and increased property values,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “These actions will further enhance the quality of life in these communities and the state, now and for generations to come.”
Tree City USA, Tree Line USA and Tree Campus Higher Education recognitions are achieved by meeting similar program requirements: a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
“In addition to our 80 Tree Cities, seven communities earned Tree City USA Growth Awards. These efforts and accomplishments move us closer to our goal of conserving and enhancing the benefits and sustainable management of urban forests highlighted in the recently updated North Carolina Forest Action Plan,” said Andrew Pleninger, Urban and Community Forestry Program Head with the N.C. Forest Service. “We thank our Tree City USA communities and are proud to support their efforts.”
The N.C. Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry program oversees the application and award process for Tree City USA, Tree Campus Higher Education, and Tree Line USA which are all under the Arbor Day Foundation umbrella. The Tree City USA program provides a framework for building an urban forestry program within a community and working toward sustainable and proactive management of a community’s tree resources. The Tree Campus Higher Education program supports effective tree management at two- and four-year accredited colleges and universities, encouraging best tree management practices on campuses and engaging the student population in the stewardship of campus tree resources.The Tree Line USA program recognizes best practices in public and private utility arboriculture, demonstrating how trees and utilities can coexist for the benefit of communities and citizens.
To learn more about these programs and how your community can participate, visit www.ncforestservice.gov/Urban/
–N.C. Forest Service