Congratulations, Gays Mills! The village with a population of 502 was recognized in a recent Tree City USA (TCUSA) bulletin for being our nation’s smallest current TCUSA Growth Award community.
According to the Arbor Day Foundation, “the Tree City USA Growth Award program is an innovative way to encourage communities of all sizes to — as the name implies — grow their tree care programs beyond basic expectations.” Points are awarded to communities who take part in a variety of activities in five categories: A) building the team, B) measuring trees and forests, C) planning the work, D) performing the work and E) the community framework.
In 2019, 341 communities earned a Growth Award in the U.S., including 17 in Wisconsin: Gays Mills, Grand Chute, Greenfield, Janesville, La Crosse, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Oconomowoc, Racine, River Falls, Shawano, Sheboygan, Shorewood, Slinger, Watertown, Waukesha and West Allis.
For an example of this point system, Gays Mills documented the following projects in categories B and D in its application for a 2020 Growth Award: