Marysville was recently recognized by the nonprofit Arbor Day Foundation as the newest Tree City USA community for its commitment to urban forestry. This is the first year that Marysville has earned the national designation.
Marysville met the four standards to become a Tree City USA community. Communities must have a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry program and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
"The city is proud to receive this award," said Mayor Dennis Kendall. "Designation as a Tree City recognizes the work of citizens, community volunteers, civic groups, city elected leaders and staff, and others who plant and care for the community's trees all year-round."
At the March 22 City Council meeting, the mayor proclaimed April 10 as Arbor Day in Marysville, with many group tree plantings scheduled on that day and over the next two weeks. The city has regularly coordinated major tree planting projects with nonprofit and business partners that can be seen in places such as Jennings Memorial and Jennings Nature Park, and other parks and play areas around Marysville.
This year, an Earth Day Expo, complete with a work party and tree plantings, is planned for April 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Jennings Park, Strawberry Fields for Rover Off-Leash Park, and at Kiwanis Park.
Parks and Recreation Director Jim Ballew agreed that trees are an important asset in Marysville.
"They beautify our community, enhance the economic vitality of our business areas, increase property values, promote cleaner air, and provide shelter and habitat to all sorts of local wildlife," Ballew said.
The Community Development Department, City Council and Planning Commission have reinforced their commitment to urban forestry by adopting landscaping development and design standards that encourage retention of native trees when projects are built, and incorporating trees and vegetation in other street-side urban design projects.
A total of 977 trees were planted in 2009 through residential, commercial and various construction projects, in addition to organized community plantings through the year, according to Ballew.
"We commend Marysville's elected officials, volunteers and its citizens for providing vital care for its urban forest," said John Rosenow, chief executive and founder of the Arbor Day foundation. "Trees provide numerous environmental, economical and health benefits to millions of people each day, and we applaud communities that make planting and caring for trees a top priority."
The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service. More information about Tree City USA can be found at www.arborday.org/TreeCityUSA.