March is said to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb; followed by ‘April showers (which) bring May flowers.’ At DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program, April showers bring Arbor Day celebrations, and plenty of them. We start planning in March and roar into April events that celebrate Washington state’s Tree City USA (TCUSA) communities. The TCUSA designation recognizes community and citizen efforts to plant and grow sustainable urban and community forestry programs. We welcome three new Tree Cities this year, for a total of 86 state-wide: Port Angeles, Farmington and Coulee Dam (the town of Coulee Dam was formerly a Tree City and has come back into the fold). Congratulations!

TCUSA communities are eligible for $500 reimbursable grants and larger tree planting grants during our grant cycle, (typically announced in October). We know that communities committed to an urban and community forestry program will plan (to select and site the right tree in the right place), plant (using current best management practices), maintain (during establishment), and manage trees for the long term.

Want to learn more about the benefits of becoming a  Tree City USA or how to grow a tree management program in your community? Visit Arbor Day Foundation’s website or call one of our community forestry specialists.

You can check out this year’s grant recipients on our grant resources web page.

Happy spring, happy plan-ting.

By Linden J. Lampman, program manager, DNR Urban and Community Forestry Program