Hernando has again been named a 2021 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation to honor its commitment to effective urban forest management. It would the 10th straight year the city has been recognized.
Hernando achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: forming a tree board or department, creating a tree care ordinance, having 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.
“Tree City USA communities benefit from the positive effects that an urban tree canopy has year after year,” said Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation. “The trees being planted and cared for by Hernando ensure that generations to come will enjoy a better quality of life. Additionally, participation in this program helps cultivate a sense of stewardship and pride for the trees the community plants and cares for.”
Planting trees in an urban space comes with a myriad of benefits past the recognition of this program. Urban tree plantings help reduce energy consumption by up to 25 percent, which will reduce general energy costs and help with the overall cooling of the city as well.
In addition, members of the community benefit from properly placed trees as they increase property values from 7-20 percent. Trees also positively affect the local ecosystem by helping to clean water and create animal habitats to encourage biodiversity.
In 2022 the Arbor Day Foundation will celebrate its 50th anniversary of inspiring people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. In this same year, the national holiday of Arbor Day will celebrate 150 years of planting trees.
These anniversaries will celebrate all the trees that have been planted and preserved for generations to come. The Arbor Foundation will use this celebration to look forward and think about how we will continue to plant trees for several more generations. More information on the program is available at www.arborday.org/TreeCityUSA.