Tree City USA

For the eighth year in a row, Washington has earned the Tree City USA designation through The Arbor Day Foundation in conjunction with USDA Forest Service and the state forestry agencies.

The Tree City USA program recognizes municipalities who demonstrate a strong commitment to responsible urban forestry management.

Communities must meet four standards to maintain designation, including having a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, establish a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

Darren Dunkle, parks director, said he is proud to have the designation.

“It shows that we are, as a city, doing the right things to preserve trees and promote the health of trees,” he said. “I think it’s a great thing.”

Dunkle said it’s especially rewarding that an outside organization recognizes that Washington is on the right track.

In 2005, the city of Washington was named the first Tree City USA in Franklin County.

Arbor Day

The Urban Forestry Council will have a booth at the upcoming Washington river festival and river cleanup, set for Saturday, April 20, at the riverfront park.

Council members will pass out information on how to properly care for trees and tree health.

Volunteers will plant several trees at the Phoenix Park Tennis Courts entrance to observe Arbor Day Saturday, April 27, beginning at about 10 a.m.

Types of trees to be planted include bald cypress, river birch, maple varieties, redbuds and dogwoods. At least 12 trees will be planted, Dunkle said.