With a nickname like “City of Palms,” it’s no surprise that neighboring Fort Myers is a perennial recipient of the Arbor Day Foundation’s “Tree City USA” distinction. For the 25th consecutive year, the foundation has honored Fort Myers for its commitment to effective urban forest management.
Fort Myers achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: A tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an Arbor Day observance and proclamation, and an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita.
Fort Myers was the first city in Southwest Florida to become a Tree City USA, and has held the distinction for a quarter century. The city grows many of the trees currently being installed at city properties.
“Tree City USA communities see the impact an urban forest has in a community first-hand,” said Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Additionally, recognition brings residents together and creates a sense of community pride, whether it’s through volunteer engagement or public education.”
Trees provide many benefits to a community when properly planted and maintained including improved visual appeal of a neighborhood; increased property values; reduced home cooling costs; removal of air pollutants and providing wildlife habitat.
More information on the Tree City USA program, visit www.arborday.org.