Is your community a Tree City USA? Would you believe there are 86 Tree City USA Communities in Washington state, and that nearly 50 percent of Washington’s population lives in a Tree City USA? It’s true, and the program continues to grow every year with new cities applying for the designation.

Nancy McKerow

The Arbor Day Foundation’s online application portal is currently accepting applications for those cities who intend to apply or re-certify based on their accomplishments during the 2015 calendar year.

But wait, there’s more! Those cities already enrolled in the Tree City USA Program are encouraged to apply for the Tree City USA Growth Award, which is given to communities that take on special projects in support of their community’s trees. The Growth Award is now even more accessible than it was before, as the Arbor Day Foundation has eliminated the financial standard to “spend more than in the previous year”. If that standard was always a barrier to your city earning a Growth Award, then this is your year to apply.

Tree City USA is a national recognition program that is designed to be inclusive so that any incorporated municipality can get involved regardless of their size, location, or economic standing. If your community is not a Tree City USA but you’d like to find out how they can get involved, contact the DNR Urban Forestry staff at urban_forestry@dnr.wa.gov to learn more about the Tree City USA program in Washington.