Tennessee Communities Recognized in Arbor Day Ceremony

    
JOHNSON CITY -- Nearly 30 Tennessee communities were recognized as having maintained or achieved the designation of Tree City USA by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) Division of Forestry. The ceremony was held March 1 in Johnson City in honor of Arbor Day and Arbor Month as proclaimed by Gov. Don Sundquist.
   "Achieving status as a Tree City USA means that these communities know that proper tree management can help mitigate storm water problems and heat in the summer, improve air quality as well as beautify our commercial districts and neighborhoods," said state Agriculture Commissioner Dan Wheeler. "The Department of Agriculture is proud to recognize and support these communities."
   To qualify as a Tree City USA, communities must have a tree board or tree advisory committee, enact an ordinance to protect and manage trees, spend a minimum of $2 per capita on tree management and celebrate Arbor Day with a ceremony and proclamation.
   Communities recognized with the Tree City USA designation include: Alcoa, Athens, Bell Buckle, Brentwood, Bristol, Chattanooga, Clarksville, Cleveland, Cookeville, Crossville, Gatlinburg, Germantown, Harrogate, Jackson, Johnson City, Kingsport, Knoxville, Maryville, McMinnville, Nashville, Norris, Oak Ridge, Pigeon Forge, Pulaski, Sevierville, Sewanee, Sweetwater and Tullahoma.
   The cities of Harrogate, McMinnville and Pigeon Forge were recognized as having achieved their first year as a Tree City USA in 2001. Bristol, Clarksville, Cleveland, Cookeville, Johnson City, Knoxville and Jackson also received special recognition with the Growth Award from the National Arbor Day Foundation for expanding or improving their tree programs.
   Tree City USA is a national program sponsored in Tennessee by the TDA Division of Forestry, the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters. The purpose of the program is to encourage cities and towns to establish a tree management program and to help educate the public about the value of an active urban forestry program.
   More information about Arbor Month activities and proper tree care can be found on the Web at www.state.tn.us/agriculture, or by contacting TDA Arbor Month coordinator and assistant urban forester Kay Fermann at (615) 837-5437 or e-mail kay.fermann@state.tn.us.