The non-profit Arbor Day Foundation has voted Allentown as a Tree City USA for the 36th consecutive year. The Arbor Day Foundation, in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service, sponsors the Tree City USA program. More than 3,400 cities and towns have been recognized as a Tree City USA community.
“Allentown is pleased and proud to be a Tree USA community continuing a 36-year tradition,” said Mayor Ed Pawlowski. “We take our role of being good stewards of our environment very seriously. Part of that commitment means providing high levels of tree care.”
Mayor Pawlowski’s statement rings true, as 18 non-shedding Sycamore trees were planted in the 1200 block of Hamilton Street recently by the city parks department and members of the Library Area Neighborhood Association and West Park. They were assisted by members of Lehigh Valley Presbyterian Church, Allen High School Rotary Service Club, Keenan House and Christ Lutheran Church.
There are four standards to achieve Tree City USA recognition. The municipality must: 1) have a tree board or department; 2) a tree care ordinance; 3) a comprehensive community forestry program with annual expenditures of at least $2 per capita; and 4) an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
According to Arbor Day Foundation Chief Executive John Rosenow, “Everyone benefits when elected officials, volunteers and committed citizens in communities like Allentown make smart investments in urban forests. Trees bring shade to our homes and beauty to our neighborhoods, along with numerous economic, social and environmental benefits.”