Urbana earns designation as 2018 Tree City USA

Urbana earns designation as 2018 Tree City USA

URBANA — The Arbor Day Foundation has named Urbana a 2018 Tree City USA for the city's commitment to urban forest management.

The city was also honored with a Tree City USA growth award for demonstrating environmental improvement and an increasingly higher level of tree care, according to city Arborist Mike Brunk.

To be designated a Tree City USA, a community must have 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.

Since the city began the Urbana Cooperative Tree Planting Program four decades ago, that program saw its best year ever in 2018, according to Brunk.

That included more than $10,000 for 85 new trees to line city streets last year through the Urbana Rotary and residents Dr. Holly Rosencranz and Warren Lavey.

Rosencranz and Lavey also donated another $10,000 last year for an additional 80 new street trees, and the Urbana Rotary, Rosencranz and Lavey are supporting another round of spring planting with another $10,000 this year, according to Brunk.

"The generous donations from the community continue to move us closer to our goal of eliminating the 345-tree backlog in our tree-planting schedule," said Mayor Diane Marlin. "The urban forest is important living infrastructure. Investment today will benefit the city of Urbana for decades to come."

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