Tree City USA: A Foundation For Better Tree Care

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Published on: Sep. 2, 1997

Last revision: Oct. 27, 2010

Arbor Day events.

Most communities already have some form of community forestry program and don't even know it. In Missouri, during 1996, the average per capita dollar expenditure for the 34 Tree City USA communities was $6.65.

Standard 4: Arbor Day observance and proclamation

This standard is probably the easiest and most enjoyable part of the Tree City USA program. Your community's Arbor Day celebration can be simple and brief, or it can be an all-day, all-weekend or all-week event. Make Arbor Day a fun, educational and memorable event -- plant trees or hold tours to see outstanding, unusual or historic trees. Organize an Arbor Day fun run or an Arbor Day fair. Celebrate the fine arts and have a poster or poetry contest, an Arbor Day concert of songs or an Arbor Day play or pageant. Use your imagination, be creative and celebrate the benefits and beauty trees provide for your community.

In Missouri, Tree City USA towns celebrate Arbor Day in unique ways. In Ballwin, Arbor Day promoters invited a group of elementary students to participate in a special tree planting project in memory of their school's principal. The Dexter Tree Council hosted an Arbor Day tree sale and sold potted trees to raise money for community beautification projects. The city of St. Joseph sponsored an Arbor Day essay contest for local high school students and read the winning essay at their annual Arbor Day ceremony.

In Fenton, the Arbor Day group invited several local fourth-grade classes to Arbor Day activities, including a movie, scavenger hunt and a tree planting ceremony. The city of Blue Springs' "Arborfest 1995" included a tree planting workshop, Tree City USA award presentation, an Arborfest poster contest for elementary students, an essay contest for students grades 7-12 and a drawing for two free tickets to see the legendary rock group the Eagles.

A community that earns Tree City USA recognition from the National Arbor Day Foundation and its cooperators will receive a beautiful walnut-mounted plaque, a large Tree City USA flag and highway signs for entrances to the community. These items are usually presented by a forester from the Conservation Department at the community's annual Arbor Day ceremony or event.

The signs, flags, plaques and ceremonies provide publicity opportunities for a Tree City USA community. However, the real benefit a town or city receives by becoming a Tree City USA comes from meeting

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