The Arbor Day Foundation and the Tree City USA program has been greening up cities and towns across America since 1976. It is a nationwide movement that provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees.
Recognized communities have achieved Tree City USA status by meeting four core standards of sound urban forestry management:
Maintaining a tree board or department
Having a community tree ordinance
Spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry
Celebrating Arbor Day
The Tree City USA Growth Award is awarded by the Arbor Day Foundation to recognize higher levels of tree care by participating Tree City USA communities. The Growth Award highlights innovative programs and projects as well as increased commitment of resources for urban forestry. It also provides an opportunity to share new ideas and successes across the country.
The City of Muscatine, through the efforts of the Parks and Recreation Department staff, has received the Tree City USA designation for the 30th straight year in 2022.
Here are just a few of the many advantages that a thriving urban forest offers a community:
Trees help absorb the sounds of traffic in urban areas by 40 percent.
Neighborhoods with threes are seven to nine degrees cooler than those without.
Trees reduce energy costs up to 25 percent 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 absorb carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, mitigating the effects of climate change.
Muscatine Branching Out plants trees throughout Muscatine and organizes an annual shade tree sale. These trees enhance our environment and their shade provides energy cost savings. Visit the Muscatine Branching Out Facebook page.