Arbor Day is Friday, April 30, which coincides with the city's Earth Week celebrations.
Montrose, CO — The City of Montrose was named a 2020 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation for the city’s continued commitment to effective urban forest management throughout the community. This is the 31st year the City of Montrose has earned the title Tree City USA.
Each year the city’s Parks Department plants new trees to boost the city’s index of right-of-way trees. Currently, the city’s right-of-way tree index is listed at about 7,000 trees, according to Public Works Assistant Manager Jackie Bubenik.
Bubenik said the city has plans to plant about 50 new trees around the city this year. The Parks Department continues to grow and maintain a diverse mix of native tree and plant species to strengthen wildlife habitats around the city. The goal is to make these areas accessible and sustainable for all residents to explore and enjoy.
Montrose achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
On Tuesday, Mayor Doug Glaspell read a proclamation naming Friday, April 30, as Arbor Day in the City of Montrose.
Glaspell said Arbor Day was a great way for “all citizens to support efforts to protect our trees and woodlands and to support our city’s urban forestry program.”
“We urge all citizens to plant trees to gladden hearts and promote the well-being of present and future generations,” Glaspell said.
Each December the Arbor Day Foundation reviews applications from around the country to determine which communities will earn the designation.
“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. “The trees being planted and cared for in Montrose are ensuring that generations to come will enjoy a better quality of life. Additionally, participation in this program brings residents together and creates a sense of civic pride, whether it's through volunteer engagement or public education."
The Parks Department is planning a tree-planting event in Riverbottom Park on Thursday, April 29, at 3:30 p.m
In 2018 the city earned a Growth Award from the National Arbor Day Foundation for its continued commitment to preserving and growing trees around the city.
According to the Arbor Day Foundation, communities worldwide are facing issues with air quality, water resources, personal health and well-being, energy use, and protection from extreme heat and flooding. The Arbor Day Foundation recently launched the Time for Trees initiative to address these issues, with unprecedented goals of planting 100 million trees in forests and communities and inspiring five million tree planters by 2022.
"With Tree City USA recognition, Montrose has demonstrated a commitment to effective urban forest management and doing its part to help address these challenges for Montrose residents now and in the future," said Lauren Weyers, Arbor Day Foundation Program Manager. "If ever there was a time for trees, now is that time."
Bubenik said the Parks Department continues to welcome residents, along with civic and church groups, to volunteer to help maintain and clean up city parks and greenways. Anyone wanting to volunteer can call the Parks Department for details at 970.240.1411.
Arbor Day began in Nebraska City, Nebraska, by J. Sterling Morton on April 10, 1872. An estimated one million trees were planted in Nebraska as a result. This was later followed by an Arbor Day proclamation issued by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt on April 15, 1907. Since then celebrations across the country have included tree plantings and appreciation and education events.
For more information about Earth Week in Montrose visit CityOfMontrose.org/EarthWeek.