In recognition of its commitment to effective urban forest management, Montgomery County has been named a 2015 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation.
The County earned the recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements of having a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters, and is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.
County Executive Ike Leggett said, “I am proud that Montgomery County is also celebrating an anniversary – 20 years of being selected as a Tree City USA. As our population continues to grow, ensuring that we maintain the trees we have and plant even more is critical to the health of our environment. Trees reduce air and water pollution, help fight climate change, provide wildlife habitat, reduce home cooling requirements and greatly enhance our community’s quality of life. Montgomery County is committed to protecting our tree canopy for current and future generations.”
“Tree City USA communities see the impact an urban forest has in a community first hand,” said Dan Lambe, president, Arbor Day Foundation. “Additionally, recognition brings residents together and creates a sense of community pride, whether it’s through volunteer engagement or public education.”
Montgomery County has a Forest Preservation Strategy and a number of laws designed to protect and increase the number of County trees. A 2014 Tree Canopy Law requires property owners to plant new trees during development to help offset impacts on the natural environment.