When the City of Ellensburg became a Tree City USA in 1983, little did they know that it was the start of a trend that would, within the lifespan of a healthy urban tree, spread across the entire state. Now, 30 years later, there are 86 cities and towns across Washington that have earned the Tree City USA Award, 11 Tree Line USA Utility Companies, and 7 Tree Campus USA Colleges and Universities.

Tree Campus USA Awards:

DNR is pleased to announce that seven institutions of higher education in Washington have been awarded the 2014 Tree Campus USA Award from the Arbor Day Foundation. Congratulations to the re-certifying campuses: Clark College, Columbia Basin College, Pacific Lutheran University, University of Puget Sound, and University of Washington. An even bigger CONGRATULATIONS go out to our newest Tree Campuses: Washington State University, Main Campus, Pullman, WA; and Washington State University, Vancouver Campus, Vancouver, WA.

Tree Line USA Awards:

Ten Washington Utility Companies have been awarded the 2014 Tree Line USA Award from the Arbor Day Foundation. Congratulations to: Chelan County PUD #1, Benton County PUD, Clark County PUD, Puget Sound Energy, Richland Energy Services, Snohomish County PUD No. 1, Tacoma Power, Avista Utilities, Seattle City Light, Benton REA, and PacifiCorp. (Note: Pacific Power and Light is a Tree Line USA that operates in several counties in Washington but certifies its Tree Line USA status through the state of Oregon where its corporate headquarters are located).

Tree City USA

Tree City USA Awards:

The following 86 Cities have been awarded the 2014 Tree City USA Award from the Arbor Day Foundation, including two new first-year cities, Port Angeles and Farmington, and one returning City, Coulee Dam. Congratulations to: Airway Heights, Anacortes, Arlington, Auburn, Bainbridge Island, Bellevue, Bellingham, Bonney Lake, Bothell, Bremerton, Burien, Cashmere, Centralia, Chelan, Cheney, Clyde Hill, Colfax, Colville, Covington, Dupont, Ellensburg, Entiat, Enumclaw, Everett, Fairchild AFB, Fairfield, Fife, George, Grandview, Hoquiam, Issaquah, Kennewick, Kent, Kirkland, Lacey, Lake Forest Park, Liberty Lake, Longview, Lynnwood, Marysville, Medina, Millwood, North Bend, Oak Harbor, Okanogan, Olympia, Omak, Pasco, Pateros, Port Townsend, Poulsbo, Pullman, Puyallup, Redmond, Renton, Richland, Ritzville, SeaTac, Seattle, Shoreline, Snoqualmie, Spokane, Steilacoom, Tacoma, Tonasket, Town of Hunts Point, Tukwila, Tumwater, Twisp, University Place, Vancouver, Walla Walla, Waterville, Wenatchee, Woodinville, Woodland, Woodway, Yarrow Point and Yelm.

TCUSA Charted

As illustrated, there has been steady growth in the tree City USA program since 1983 and the numbers have been climbing ever since. At present, nearly 50 percent of Washington residents live in a Tree City USA Community. This is great news for urban forests (and people) of the Evergreen State, as the growth of the Tree City USA program is a barometer for our collective appreciation and stewardship of trees in our cities and towns.

…but there is still more work to be done. There are 281 incorporated municipalities throughout Washington, which means there are nearly 200 cities that have not yet made the formal commitment to care and management of their city trees. Is your community a Tree City USA?

Even if your city is already a Tree City, you probably know other staff, citizens, business owners, or fellow tree advocates in neighboring communities that are not. So talk to your friends. Bring the message to your colleagues. Share the Tree City USA Program with your respective professional organizations. Join the Washington Community Forestry Council, in partnership with the Department of Natural Resources’ Urban & Community Forestry Program in helping grow the Tree City USA Program in Washington. With your help we can break the 100 city mark and continue building the case for increased resources and funding for urban forest stewardship in Washington.