City Views Article: Tree City USA

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(Originally Published Spring, 2010)

Preservation of our natural beauty and environment is a long standing value that Glendale continues to embrace. A reflection of this value is our standing among 3400 communities throughout the nation as a “Tree City USA” community. The Tree City USA program, sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters, provides direction, technical assistance, public attention and national recognition for urban and community forestry programs. These programs exhibit a consistent advancement in urban forestry practices, making their respective citizens beneficiaries of the beauty, health and economical dividends that well-managed urban forests provide. In addition to these tangible benefits, the contribution to community pride and image makes cities like Glendale a destination for visitors, families and businesses alike.

To qualify for Tree City USA, a town or city must meet four standards established by the Arbor Day Foundation. These standards were set so that every qualifying community would have a viable tree management plan or program, and that no community would be excluded because of size. The criteria are:

  1. A Tree Board or Department
  2. A Tree Care Ordinance
  3. A Community Forestry Program with an Annual Budget of at Least $2 per Capita
  4. An Arbor Day Observance and Proclamation

With our strong urban forestry program, community support, and a professional Forestry staff, Glendale possesses the fundamental components necessary to sustain a healthy tree population. As a result, Glendale has been recognized for its 26th consecutive year as a Tree City USA. In addition, over the past decade, Glendale has been a four-time recipient of the Tree City USA Growth Award; a recognition of environmental improvement through higher levels of tree care demonstrated by advancement in one or all four of the following categories:

  1. Education and Public Relationships
  2. Partnerships
  3. Planning and Management
  4. Tree Planting and Maintenance

The historical pattern of successfully managing our growth and resources is a combined effort between city staff and civic leaders. Our efforts have been rewarded as reflected in the mountain views, shaded streets and peace of mind that we can enjoy due in part to our care of the environment and our community forests throughout the years. Congratulations Glendale!

For more information on Tree City USA, visit their website at