Monday, April 20, 2009

Tree City, USA

If you've spent any time in McPherson you won't be surprised to know McPherson is a Tree City USA and it has been for 30 years.

To become a Tree City, USA, a distinction given by the Arbor Day Foundation, a city must:

  • Your city must have a Tree Board or Forestry Department . This only means that if your city can't afford a department for tree care and management, you can create a board of volunteers. This is the only way to go in smaller communities.
    Your city must have a local tree ordinance. Every community should have an annual work and action plan. This tree ordinance helps define the action plan. It will provide clear guidance for planting, maintaining and removing trees from streets, parks and other public places.

  • Your city must spend $2 per capita. In most cases this amount, and probably much more, is being spent by city work crews. If not, you may need the Tree City USA program more than you know.

  • Your city must promote Arbor Day. This may be the easiest of the four standards. Proclaim Arbor Day in your city and plant a few trees.

Today the city commission approved a proclamation in honor of Arbor Day April 24. The tree board will plant a tree in Lakeside Park across from Washington Elementary at 9 a.m. Friday with the help of WES fourth graders.

I can't say enough good things about our park department which maintains 14 public parks in the city as well as the planters downtown. Parks Superintendent Paul Katzer and his staff are very dedicated. When we first visited McPherson in 2006, the beautiful parks were one of our first stops. They speak volumes about the quality of life in McPherson.

Now if we could just get a dog park up and going...

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