For Immediate Release: 6/17/2020 12:37 pm
Worcester – For the 34th consecutive year, the City of Worcester has been named a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in recognition of its commitment to effective urban forest management.
“We are extremely proud to once again receive this honor,” City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. said. “The City fully understands and appreciates the benefits a healthy urban forest provides for all of our residents, and we are committed to doing our part to help address the challenges of effective urban forest management now and in the future.”
Worcester achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
Aided by the Worcester Tree Initiative, thousands of new trees have been planted in recent years, including 30,000 between 2009 and 2014 after the devastation of thousands of trees by the Asian Long-horned Beetle.
The City last year planted more than 200 new trees, and in its Fiscal Year 2019 budget allotted $1.7 million to be spent on green infrastructure. Over the past five fiscal years, the City has allocated more than $7.7 million for green infrastructure and planted more than 1,200 new trees.
The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the national Association of State foresters.
“Tree City USA communities see the positive effects of an urban forest firsthand,” Arbor Day Foundation President Dan Lambe said. “The trees being planted and cared for by Worcester are ensuring that generations to come will enjoy a better quality of life. Additionally, participation in this program brings residents together and creates a sense of civic pride, whether it’s through volunteer engagement or public education.”
More information on the program is available at arborday.org/TreeCityUSA.