By Michael P. Walsh
Special to the Voice
West Haven was recently named a 2021 Tree City USA community by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to urban forestry.
According to the foundation, the city earned Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: forming a tree board or department, creating a tree care ordinance, having an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita, and holding an Arbor Day observance.
The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation of Lincoln, Nebraska, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters. The program was established in 1976.
“Tree City USA communities benefit from the positive effects that an urban tree canopy has year after year,” said Dan Lambe, the foundation’s chief executive. “The trees being planted and cared for by West Haven ensure that generations to come will enjoy a better quality of life. Additionally, participation in this program helps cultivate a sense of stewardship and pride for the trees the community plants and cares for.”
The Arbor Day Foundation, founded in 1972, has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than 1 million members, supporters and partners.
The foundation has planted nearly 500 million trees in communities and forests worldwide since 1972.
According to the foundation, urban tree plantings help reduce energy consumption by up to 25%, increase property values by up to 20%, and clean water and create animal habitats to encourage biodiversity.