Lincoln City is being recognized for reaching a "significant milestone" as a Tree City USA.
The coastal communities of Lincoln City, Cannon Bean and Seaside are among 16 Oregon communities marking significant milestones as Tree City USA communities this year, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry, which administers the Tree City USA program in Oregon for the national Arbor Day Foundation.
ODF Community Assistance Forester Brittany Oxford said cities and towns need to meet four criteria to become a Tree City USA:
Maintain a tree board or department
Have a community tree ordinance
Spend at least $2 per capita on urban forestry
Celebrate Arbor Day
Seaside has maintained its Tree City USA designation for a quarter century, and Cannon Beach and Lincoln City for 15 years, according to Oxford.
“These communities really shine,” Oxford said. “For example, Seaside is also one of three dozen Oregon communities that has planted a peace tree – a tree grown from seeds of trees that survived the atom-bombing of Hiroshima in 1945.”
Oxford said cities benefit from sustained support of their urban forestry programs.
“Trees are a long-term investment. Keeping engaged with maintenance and replacement tree plantings can help a community increase its tree canopy and keep that urban forest healthy, helping make that community more climate resilient,” she said.
Other cities marking milestone years include:
Rogue River – 40 years
Grants Pass – 35 years
Madras – 30 years
Coburg and Wilsonville – 25 years
Bend, Klamath Falls – 20 years
Dallas and Gresham – 15 years
Central Point – 10 years
Hillsboro and Umatilla – 5 years
“Although it’s only been a Tree City for five years, Hillsboro has already earned two growth awards for improving and enlarging their urban forestry program, including one this year,” Oxford said.
Tree City USA is one of the Arbor Day Foundation’s oldest programs. It began in 1976.
"Our founders had a vision for a greener, healthier America, and hoped this initiative would inspire change on a nationwide level, the Tree Citu USA website states. "The first Tree City USA cohort was comprised of 42 communities in 16 states. Today, the program includes more than 3,600 communities from all 50 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico."
A thriving urban forest offers many advantages to communities. Here are just a few:
Trees help absorb the sounds of traffic in urban areas by 40%.
Neighborhoods with trees are seven to nine degrees cooler than those without.
Trees reduce energy costs up to 25% by shading buildings and protecting them from winter winds.
Homes with trees have higher property values.
Green space plays a major role in improving mental and physical health.
Planting and maintaining trees absorbs carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, mitigating the effects of climate change.
Publicly demonstrating your commitment to the environment is a great way to build pride among residents, as well as position your community as an attractive place to live, the website states.
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