The Arbor Day Foundation has named the City of Bowling Green a 2021 Tree City USA in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management. The City also received a Tree City USA Growth Award for demonstrating environmental improvement and higher level of tree care. This is the 42nd year Bowling Green has been recognized as a Tree City and the 28th time the City has received the Growth Award.
A Growth Award is bestowed to a community alongside their Tree City USA recognition for demonstrating environmental improvement and a higher level of tree care. The Growth Award recognizes major milestones and annual activities in five categories on a point-based system to build sustainable community forestry programs over the long term such as: building a team, measuring trees and forests, planning the work, performing the work, and building the community framework.
“Tree City USA communities can experience the positive effects that an urban tree canopy has year after year,” said Dan Lambe, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “The trees being planted and cared for by Bowling Green are ensuring that generations to come will enjoy a better quality of life. Additionally, participation in this program helps cultivate a sense of stewardship and pride for the trees the community plants and cares for.”
With the additional recognition of a Growth Award, Bowling Green has demonstrated their expediency towards building framework for sustainable urban forest management. Urban tree plantings help reduce energy consumption by up to 25%, which will reduce general energy costs and help with the overall cooling of the city as well. In addition, members of the community benefit from properly placed trees as they increase property values from 7-20%. Trees positively affect the local ecosystem by helping to clean water and create animal habitats to encourage biodiversity.
The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters. More information on the program is available at www.arborday.org/TreeCityUSA.