BLOOMINGTON – Bloomington has been named a Tree City of the World by the Arbor Day Foundation. Tree Cities of the World is a program founded by The Arbor Day Foundation and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to recognize cities around the globe that have committed to growing and maintaining their urban forest.
Bloomington has earned recognition in the Foundation’s second year of the program, which requires that cities meet five program standards demonstrating a commitment to planting and conserving trees for a greener future.
Bloomington’s commitment to its urban forest was first acknowledged in 1984 when Bloomington became the first city in Indiana to receive Tree City USA designation from the Arbor Day Foundation.
The designation requires that a city maintain a tree board or commission, a tree care ordinance, a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita (Bloomington’s is more than $8.50 per capita), and an annual Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
The city has successfully met all the criteria to retain its Tree City designation every year since 1984.
“It’s exciting to be recognized among the vanguard of cities that share a commitment to the health of the planet,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “A national Tree City each year since 1984, Bloomington’s promotion to ‘Tree City of the World’ provides a welcome recognition and a framework for continuing sustainability and quality of life improvements. As spring returns, it’s also a lovely reminder to go out and enjoy Bloomington’s beautiful public spaces.”
“We are proud to be one of 120 cities from 63 different countries to be recognized as Tree Cities of the World,” said Erin Hatch, urban forester with the City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department. “Bloomington Parks and Recreation is positioned to lead the city in combating the effects of climate change through protecting and enhancing green spaces, and by planting trees and growing Bloomington’s urban forest. Tree Cities of the World offers us a connection with like-minded city leaders to celebrate, and share best practices to cultivate a healthy and productive urban forest in the community.”
“We applaud all of the cities that have earned Tree Cities of the World designation,” said Dan Lambe, president, Arbor Day Foundation. “They are leaders when it comes to planning and managing their urban forests. Many of the cities being recognized have gone above and beyond to use trees as part of their green infrastructure. This distinction is a celebration of their creativity and sustainability in creating healthier urban spaces.”
About the Arbor Day Foundation
Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members, supporters, and valued partners. Since 1972, more than 400 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods, communities, cities, and forests worldwide. The foundation’s vision is to help others understand and use trees to solve many current global issues, including air quality, water quality, climate change, deforestation, poverty, and hunger.
As one of the world’s largest operating conservation foundations, the Arbor Day Foundation, through its members, partners, and programs, educates and engages stakeholders and communities worldwide to involve themselves in its mission of planting, nurturing, and celebrating trees. More information is available at arborday.org.