DNR announces annual Tree City USA honorees

Contact: Kevin Sayers, 517-582-3209
Agency: Natural Resources

April 2, 2021

Tree City USA banners hang from a municipal street postr Two new communities - the city of Madison Heights and Orion Charter Township - recently have been designated with the Tree City USA honor for promoting and caring for trees within the community.

They are among 124 Michigan communities, nine campuses, one healthcare institution and one utility recognized with a Tree City, Tree Campus, Tree Campus Healthcare or Tree Line USA designation for 2020.

"Michigan ranks eighth nationally in the number of communities with Tree City designations," said Kevin Sayers, urban and community forestry specialist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. "Trees are a very important part of the landscape in our cities, towns and villages. They add beauty to college campus and hospital settings, making them more inviting, while also helping to cool sidewalks and clean the air. Properly maintained trees in the spaces around power lines helps improve safety and service, too."

The certifications are for work accomplished during 2020, and all recipients will receive their awards in April.

The Tree City USA programs promote proper care and management of community trees and calls attention to the multiple benefits they provide.

"Tree City USA is about recognizing cities and towns that celebrate and care for their community trees and forests. It's also about improving the quality of life for people who live in a Tree City community," Sayers said.

The program's four standards were created so that communities of any size can achieve success. The standards that must be met each year are: a city department or tree board, a public tree care ordinance, a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita and a proclamation about and celebration of Arbor Day, which takes place April 30 this year.

One Michigan utility (ITC Michigan) was recertified through the Tree Line USA program and nine campuses through the Tree Campus Higher Education program. The newest campus certified is North Central Michigan College in Petoskey. Spectrum Healthcare-Blodgett Hospital in Grand Rapids recertified for the second year as a nationally recognized Tree Campus Healthcare facility.

"Michigan is still looking forward to seeing its first K-12 school become certified through the newest program, Tree Campus K-12," Sayers said.

Each of these programs requires organizations to commit to proper management of trees, offer tree care education programs and sponsor tree planting events. To find out more about the Arbor Day Foundation's various Tree USA programs, visit ArborDay.org/Programs.

For questions on the DNR's Urban and Community Forestry program, contact Kevin Sayers at 517-582-3209 or SayersK@Michigan.gov or visit Michigan.gov/UCF.