‘Tree City’ more than just a title
What it is: Every year, thousands of communities across the nation are named given the title of “Tree City USA”—a program sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation. To earn the title, a municipality must meet four standards: develop a tree board or department; establish a “tree care ordinance; have an Arbor Day observance or proclamation; and create a community forestry program with a budget of at least $2 per capita.
The foundation created several other awards, including Tree Campus USA and special Tree City recognition for communities that go above and beyond what’s expected by the normal set of Tree City standards.
Who gets it: In Wisconsin there are 181 Tree Cities, including Janesville, Delavan, Elkhorn, Evansville and Whitewater. Sheboygan has been named Tree City 33 years, more than any other community in the state.
UW-Oshkosh and UW-Stevens Point are Tree Campuses.
Why does it matter: Communities earning the Tree City designation are eligible for various benefits and get stronger consideration for grant money available to tree and forestry programs, according to the Tree City USA website.