Aiken was named a 2015 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management.
Started in 1976, the Tree City USA program, sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.
Aiken achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: 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.
“Tree City USA communities see the impact an urban forest has in a community first hand,” said Dan Lambe, President of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Additionally, recognition brings residents together and creates a sense of community pride, whether it’s through volunteer engagement or public education.”
Trees provide multiple benefits to a community when properly planted and maintained. They help to improve the visual appeal of a neighborhood, increase property values, reduce home cooling costs, remove air pollutants and provide wildlife habitat, among many other benefits.
More information on the program is available at http://www.arborday.org/TreeCityUSA.
About the Arbor Day Foundation: The Arbor Day Foundation is a million member nonprofit conservation and education organization with them with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. More information is available at arborday.org.