On Thursday, October 20, the Urban Forestry (UF) Team provided municipalities an opportunity to celebrate and learn more about the Tree City USA program and the ways it can bring pride and health to their local communities, at an evening reception during the annual League of Wisconsin Municipalities (LWM) conference.
The event focused on recognizing the 40th anniversary of the Tree City USA program, highlighting the Wisconsin municipalities that have had this designation the longest. The reception was co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Arborists Association (WAA). We were also joined by representatives from Wisconsin Urban Wood (WUW) and Wisconsin DNR Green Tier Legacy Communities . Stevens Point Mayor Mike Wiza welcomed the group; he was joined by Stevens Point City Forester Todd Ernster to talk about their local approach to managing and enhancing the area’s community forests.
Stevens Point has been a Tree City community for 35 years and has been additionally recognized over the past 12 years for achieving the prestigious Growth Award, marking their deep commitment to their urban forest.
Jeff Roe, Urban Forestry (UF) Team Leader, gave an overview of Wisconsin’s long, successful history, with engaging communities, caring for tree resources by working towards, and achieving, Tree City USA status.
Our final speaker of the evening was Pete Smith, Urban Forestry Program Manager at the Arbor Day Foundation (ADF), who gave remarks about supporting urban forestry programs, including the Tree City, Tree Campus and Tree Line USA recognition programs, the annual Partners in Community Forestry conference, and the Energy Saving Trees program. Pete shared the story of both the Arbor Day Foundation and Tree City USA programs. Pete congratulated Wisconsin on its large number of communities recognized with Tree City USA status and for supporting urban and community forestry statewide.
Everyone in attendance also enjoyed a performance by students from the Aber Suzuki Center at UW-Stevens Point and refreshments provided by the DNR UF Program.
For more information contact Ellen Clark (EllenA.Clark@Wisconsin.gov), Urban Forestry Communication Specialist, at 608-267-2774.