RALEIGH – The N.C. Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry program has announced that 73 communities, 14 campuses and four utilities have been awarded Tree City USA, Tree Campus Higher Education and Tree Line USA designations for 2022.
Communities of Belmont, Charlotte, Edenton, Gastonia, Hendersonville, Southern Pines and Wilmington took home the Tree City USA Growth Award for 2022. Communities that have already been designated a Tree City for one year are eligible to apply for the Tree City USA Growth Award in its second consecutive year. The Tree City USA Growth Award is an opportunity to participate in activities that recognize environmental improvement, encourage higher levels of tree care and strengthen their community tree care programs.
The Tree City USA program is a national program that provides the framework for community forestry management for cities and towns. By meeting four core standards of sound urban forestry management, communities can achieve Tree City USA status.
“Planting trees to conserve and enhance the sustainable management of urban forests doesn’t have to only take place on Arbor Day,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Communities, higher education campuses and utility companies who maintain a tree board or committee, have a tree plan, practice quality tree care and hold an Arbor Day celebration are doing their part to contribute to the long list of benefits that human and wildlife habitats need. I encourage others to join in the effort as well.”
Similarly, two and four-year accredited colleges and universities have the opportunity to promote healthy trees and earn Tree Campus Higher Education accolades. Utility companies who demonstrate sound utility pruning practices and balance the demands of expanding utility needs alongside the benefits of providing adequate care for our urban forests are eligible for Tree Line USA honors.
Planting trees and responsible urban forest management at the local level including community involvement and participation in urban forestry recognition programs are critical to sustaining healthy forest resources in North Carolina.
North Carolina is fortunate to have a variety of state forestry programs that protect forest resources by supporting landowners and communities with tree-planting, site preparation and forest improvement. The NCFS Urban and Community Forestry program oversees the application and award process for Tree City USA, Tree Campus Higher Education and Tree Line USA.
To learn more about N.C. Forest Service urban and community forestry programs and services, visit www.ncforestservice.gov/Urban/Urban_Forestry.htm. For a complete list of Tree City, Tree Campus and Tree Line USA recipients, visit https://www.ncforestservice.gov/Urban/pdf/TCUSA_Participants.pdf.