What Warrensburg Gets Out Of Being Named A 2022 Tree City USA
The City of Warrensburg met the criteria from the National Arbor Day Foundation along with the U.S. Forest Service and National Association of State Foresters to be named a 2022 Tree City USA. So what do the City and its residents get out of that designation?
Well, aside from the opportunity to crow about the designation in a press release and put up signs that we're a Tree City USA community for 2022, it doesn't look like a lot on the surface.
The designation really is just recognition that yes, the City actually cares about trees. To be named a Tree City USA community towns and cities need to meet the following criteria. They have to maintain a tree department or tree board. They need a tree care ordinance. They must have an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita. And they have to host an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
The real key though is what happens in the communities that do these things. Dan Lambe, Chief Executive of the Arbor Day Foundation explains what cities get out of going for the designation:
"Tree City USA communities see the positive effects of an urban forest firsthand. The trees being planted and cared for by Warrensburg 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."
While the cynics are probably rolling their eyes at the above. I'd say at its most superficial The program provides some shade, makes our City look nicer, and frankly makes the town a nicer place to live.
Additionally, the Warrensburg press release goes on to point out that communities worldwide are facing issues with air quality, water resources, energy use, extreme heat, and flooding. Not to mention residents are dealing with personal health and well-being issues. Planting trees and taking care of the ones we do have help address those challenges. Both in our backyard and in the greater world. It's just not something we spend a lot of time thinking about.