It’s hard to imagine getting through a hot, humid Ohio summer without the benefit of a wonderful shade tree — and our state has its fair share of them!
Across the country, and Ohio, some cities make the effort to capitalize on these unique natural assets through the Tree City USA program. According to its website, the initiative 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.
More than 3,400 communities have become a Tree City USA 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 and celebrating Arbor Day.
This week, the City of Shelby received news that it had been recognized as a Tree City USA for the 38th consecutive year (see below).
A very nice package arrived in the mail today. The City of Shelby has been named a “Tree City USA” recipient by the Arbor Day Foundation for the 38th consecutive year! pic.twitter.com/dgVgyCsdfQ
— Shelby Ohio (@growshelby) July 8, 2021
In Shelby, tree preservation and enhancement efforts are led by the City’s Shade Tree Commission. Members come from each ward of the City, and also include a Council member, Service Superintendent, and Electric Distribution Superintendent. The Commission meets monthly each fourth Tuesday.
The duties of Shelby’s Commission were laid out in the 1990 ordinance which created it, and include having “…the power to study, investigate, plan, advise, report and recommend to Council or the Mayor any action, program, plan or legislation which the Commission finds or determines to be necessary or advisable for the care, preservation, trimming, planting, replanting, removal or disposition of trees and shrubs in public ways, streets and alleys.”
Ohio has led the nation in the number of Tree City USA communities for many years. Richland County’s Tree City USA communities have included Mansfield, Shelby, Ontario, Lexington, and Bellville.