August 13, 2011 8:42:00 PM
The City of Columbus was awarded the Tree City USA certification by the Mississippi Urban Forest Council at the recent statewide forestry conference, one of only 29 cities in the state qualifying for the recognition. This is the 16th year the city has received the title. Columbus was recognized statewide for its outstanding work in urban forestry by the Mississippi Forestry Commission and the Mississippi Urban Forest Council.
Tree City USA is awarded to those sites that fulfill four requirements. These include a tree board or forestry department, a tree ordinance, an urban forest management program supported by a minimum budget of $2 per capita, and an observation and proclamation of Arbor Day.
"We commend our Mississippi communities and other sites that strive for exceptional efforts to obtain the national Tree City USA recognition," said Donna Yowell, executive director of the Mississippi Urban Forest Council.
"Trees provide many benefits we all take for granted, including economic enhancements, social and environmental benefits and aesthetic value. Trees process storm water and reduce flooding, while providing shade during southern summer months and reduce energy costs as well as improving property values and quality of life," Yowell added.
The council is a statewide nonprofit organization assisting communities with implementing local tree programs. It offers a variety of programs to educate volunteers and community leaders on every aspect of community forestry and provides assistance with grants for local projects.
For more information on community and urban forestry in Mississippi, contact Yowell at the Mississippi Urban Forest Council, 601-672-0755, or [email protected] Or visit msurbanforest.com.
The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Mississippi Forestry Commission an National Arbor Day Foundation and administered in the state by the Mississippi Urban Forest Council.