What is Tree City USA?
Tree City USA is a program that began in 1996 as a way to make a lasting contribution during the bicentennial of our nation. In 1991 fifteen years after the Tree City Program began, The National Arbor Day Foundation, in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service, introduced the Tree City USA growth award to supplement their Tree City USA designation.
To be designated as a Tree City USA a community must meet four standards:
- a tree board, commission or department
- a city tree ordinance
- a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2.00 per capita
- an Arbor Day observance and proclamation
Once a community meets the four standards, it qualifies as a Tree City USA community for that calendar year. A community must re-qualify annually in order to maintain the designation.
The Tree City Growth Award was established to recognize environmental improvement and encourage higher levels of tree care throughout America. The Tree City USA Growth Award, similar to the Tree City USA program requires an annual application combined with the completion of specific activities. The applicant community must be a Tree City USA recipient and then satisfy several requirements from any of four categories:
Category a) education and public relations
Category b) partnerships
Category c) planning and management
Category d) tree planting and maintenance
The Paramus Shade Tree & Parks Commission on behalf of the Borough has applied for and received the Tree City USA designation for 42 years and the Tree City Growth Award for 27 years.