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DNR honors record number of Tree City USA communities; utilities, colleges also recognized for tree care

Contact: Kevin Sayers, 517-241-4632 or Ed Golder, 517-335-3014
Agency: Natural Resources

April 18, 2013

The Department of Natural Resources and the Arbor Day Foundation announced today that 126 Michigan communities have been certified as a "Tree City USA" for their promotion of community forestry in 2012. See a list of communities certified.

Communities are certified for work accomplished in 2012 and were recently presented with their awards materials in advance of Arbor Week. Arbor Week in Michigan runs from April 21-27.

The Tree City USA program promotes proper tree care and management in urban areas and calls attention to the economic, health and aesthetic benefits trees offer.

To be eligible to participate in the Tree City USA program, a community must have:

  • A designated board or department responsible for tree-care issues;
  • A local tree ordinance;
  • A budget for public tree care of at least $2 per capita; and
  • An annual Arbor Day celebration and official Arbor Day proclamation.

"Having diverse and healthy trees in our communities helps improve everyone's quality of life," said DNR Urban Forestry program coordinator Kevin Sayers. "Being designated as a Tree City helps recognize and promote communities that are committed to caring for these valuable public assets."

Since the program began in 1976, the number of certified communities in Michigan has steadily grown. The 2012 total represents a new high for participation in Michigan and the state now ranks eighth nationally. Chesterfield Township was the only newly certified community this year.

Along with the Tree City USA program, the DNR recertified three Michigan utilities - the Lansing Board of Water and Light, DTE Energy and International Transmission Company - through the Tree Line USA program.

Three college campuses - the University of Michigan, Western Michigan University and Calvin College - were also certified through the Tree Campus USA program.

These programs encourage utility companies and universities to offer tree-care education programs and sponsor tree-planting events as part of their commitment to maintaining healthy urban forests and trees. To find out more about the Arbor Day Foundation's Tree USA programs, visit

For more information about the DNR's Urban and Community Forestry program, contact Kevin Sayers at 517-241-4632 or or visit the program's website at

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to

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