Evanston named Tree City USA community for 31st year

Tori Latham, City Editor

A national nonprofit dedicated to planting trees honored Evanston for the 31st consecutive year for its commitment to tree care.

The city was named a Tree City USA community by the Arbor Day Foundation and also received the organizations’ 2014 Tree City USA Growth Award for showing improvement to the environment and a better level of tree care, the city announced Tuesday.

“Evanston is proud to be recognized as a Tree City USA community for the 31st consecutive year,” Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said in a news release. “Evanston’s urban forest is one of our most precious and treasured resources. Trees beautify our award-winning downtown and neighborhoods, provide cleaner air for our residents, and contribute to Evanston’s goal of being the most livable city.”

To be named a Tree City USA, cities must meet four specific requirements: have a specific department or board that deals with trees, a tree-care ordinance, an annual forestry budget of at least $2 per capita and observance of Arbor Day.

“Everyone benefits when elected officials, volunteers and committed citizens in communities like Evanston make smart investments in urban forests,” Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation, said in the news release. “Trees bring shade to our homes and beauty to our neighborhoods, along with numerous economic, social and environmental benefits.”

Tree City USA communities are considered to have clean air, good storm water management, energy savings, increased property values and increased commercial activities, according to the news release.

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