Montrose, CO — As the City of Montrose prepares for its annual Arbor Day celebration scheduled for April 29, city leaders are thrilled to announce that the Arbor Day Foundation has named the City of Montrose a 2021 Tree City USA for the city’s continued commitment to effective urban forest management throughout the community. This is the 32nd year the City of Montrose has earned the designation.
Each year the city’s Parks Department plants new trees to boost the city’s index of right-of-way trees. Currently, the index stands at 4,735 trees, according to city records.
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 sustainable and accessible for all residents to explore and enjoy. In 2022 the Parks Department budgeted thousands of dollars to plant new trees around the city.
Montrose achieved Tree City USA status 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.
During the City Council’s regular meeting on April 19, Mayor Doug Glaspell read a proclamation naming Friday, April 29, as Arbor Day in the City of Montrose.
Glaspell read the proclamation, encouraging “all citizens to support efforts to protect our trees and woodlands and to support our city’s urban forestry program. Further, we urge all citizens to plant trees to gladden the hearts and promote the well-being of present and future generations.”
“Arbor Day is now observed throughout the nation and the world, and trees can reduce the erosion of our precious topsoil by wind and water, cut heating and cooling costs, moderate the temperature, clean air, produce oxygen, and provide habitat for wildlife,” Glaspell said. “Trees are a renewable resource giving us paper, wood for our homes, fuel for our fires, and countless other wood products, and trees in our city increase property values, enhance the economic vitality of business areas, and beautify the community and wherever they are planted, are a source of joy and spiritual renewal.”
Each December the Arbor Day Foundation reviews applications from around the country to determine which communities will earn the designation.
Arbor Day Foundation Chief Executive Dan Lambe said the City of Montrose “is part of an incredible network of more than 3,600 Tree City USAs with a combined total population of 155 million.”
“Over the last few years, it has become increasingly clear of the value and importance that trees hold for our future,” Lambe said. “Cities and towns across the globe are facing challenges when it comes to air quality, water, resources, personal health and well-being, and energy use.Montrose shows its residents and peers that they are forward-thinking and eager to combat these issues. By showing your dedication to urban forestry, you demonstrate a commitment to a brighter, greener future.”
As part of the City of Montrose’s Arbor Day celebrations, the Parks Department is planning a tree-planting event in Buckley Park on Friday, April 29, at 10 a.m.
The Arbor Day Foundation is a partner with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters to help maintain the foundation’s Tree City USA network.
The city’s 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. As a result, an estimated one million trees were planted in Nebraska. 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.