Medford was recently awarded recognition as a Tree City USA for 2016 by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of our city’s commitment to effective urban forest management. Medford has achieved this distinction for an outstanding record of 19 consecutive years.
To achieve this recognition, Medford met the program’s four requirements: a tree department, observation of a tree-care ordinance which Medford follows under the Massachusetts General Laws regarding public shade trees, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day celebration and proclamation.
“Tree City USA communities see the impact an urban forest has in a community first hand,” said Dan Lambe, President of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Additionally, recognition brings residents together and creates a sense of community pride, whether it’s through volunteer engagement or public education.”
In addition, Medford has also been awarded the Tree City USA Growth Award, which is awarded by the Arbor Day Foundation to recognize higher levels of innovative programs and projects as well as increased commitment of resources for urban forestry. The Growth Award has been achieved by about half a dozen communities per year, statewide, for many years. Here in Medford, the Growth Award will be the ninth we have received, seven of which were awarded consecutively, which is another outstanding achievement.
“The Tree City USA award is an excellent indication that there is a solid foundation within the City of Medford that has continued for 19 consecutive years,” said Mayor Stephanie M. Burke. “We’re extremely proud of the recognition our community has received through this program.”
To quote messages from the Arbor Day Foundation: “Trees provide multiple benefits to a community when properly planted and maintained. They help to improve the visual appeal of a neighborhood, increase property values, reduce home cooling costs, remove air pollutants and provide wildlife habitat, among many other benefits. In fact, trees are the one piece of community infrastructure that actually increases in value over time.” More information is available at arborday.org/TreeCityUSA.