Have you seen the sign that designates a community as a Tree City USA? Ever wondered what it means to be a Tree City USA town or city? Illinois is currently home to approximately 167 Tree City USA communities. In the recent past, Illinois was second in the nation for the number of Tree City USA participants. Plus, 35 Illinois communities receive the additional distinction as a Sterling Tree City USA participant, which means the town or city is regarded as a leader and innovator in community forestry.

No community can be excluded due to size, but to receive the Tree City USA distinction a town or city must meet four standards established by the Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters. The four standards a community must have to receive recognition as a Tree City USA: a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, a community forestry program with a minimum per capita annual budget and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation. The benefits for a town or city to become a Tree City USA are numerous. The opportunity to educate people about the importance of sustainable tree management, community pride and publicity are just a few benefits that come with being a Tree City USA community. Click here to learn more about the Arbor Day Foundation Tree City USA program. See if your town or city is involved!

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