As the nation celebrates the 150th anniversary of Arbor Day on April 29, 2022, we also celebrate all of our city, education, and utility partners that received recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation in 2021.

  • Tree City USA – 91 Washington cities qualified  
  • Tree Campus USA – 10 higher education institutions were recognized
  • Tree Line USA – 10 utilities took part in the program

Despite the ongoing challenges with hosting in-person activities due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our partners found creative ways to celebrate their trees and continue their ongoing tree stewardship activities.

Tree planting event in Anacortes

Many cities marked major milestones in their participation in the Tree City USA program. The oldest Tree City in Washington, Ellensburg, celebrated its 39th year in the program in 2021. The following cities marked important milestones this year in the Tree City Program:

  • 5 year anniversary: College Place, Town of Friday Harbor, White Salmon
  • 10 year anniversary: Rockford, Shoreline
  • 15 year anniversary: Chelan, Millwood, Pasco, Woodland
  • 20 year anniversary: Arlington, Covington, Enumclaw, Kent, Kirkland, Tukwila
  • 25 year anniversary: Grandview, Okanogan, Omak, Poulsbo, Pullman
  • 35 year anniversary: Cashmere

Even with the obstacles many cities faced in the past year, seven Washington cities were able to grow their urban forestry programs and were honored with Growth Awards. The Arbor Day Foundation created the Growth Awards to recognize cities that go above and beyond the Tree City recognition requirements and expand their urban forestry program with activities like: restoration work, open space acquisition, addressing environmental equity, performing a tree inventory, hosting tree care and stewardship events, promoting cross-departmental collaboration, and much more. Each activity is valued at 1-10 points and cities must score at least 10 points. The city of Bellevue led the way and scored a total of 39 points! Congratulations to the following cities for your continued efforts to lead the way in urban forestry:

  • Bellevue – 39 points
  • Shoreline – 20 points
  • Snoqualmie – 14 points
  • Seattle – 12 points
  • Burien – 11 points
  • Vancouver – 10 points
  • Walla Walla – 10 points

Tree Campus USA Awards:

DNR is thrilled to announce that 10 institutions of higher education in Washington have been awarded the 2021 Tree Campus USA Award from the Arbor Day Foundation. With many campuses still operating remotely or in a hybrid class room, these institutions still brought their communities together to show their commitment and care for the campus’ trees. Congratulations to the following campuses:

  • Columbia Basin College
  • Central Washington State University
  • Olympic College
  • Seattle University
  • University of Puget Sound
  • University of Washington
  • Washington State University Main Campus (Pullman)
  • Washington State University Vancouver Campus
  • Wenatchee Valley College
  • Whitman College
  • Whitworth University
Wenatchee College tree planting event.

Tree Line USA Awards:

The 2021 Tree Line USA Award goes to 10 Washington utility companies for their commitment to proper tree pruning, planting, and care in their provider service area. The utilities promote the dual goals of delivering safe and reliable energy resources while maintaining healthy community forests. Cheers to the following utilities:

  • Avista Utilities
  • Benton County PUD
  • Benton REA
  • Clark County PUD
  • Cowlitz County PUD
  • Puget Sound Energy
  • Richland Energy Services
  • Seattle City Light
  • Snohomish County PUD No. 1
  • Tacoma Power
Benton PUD tree planting with local partners.

Tree City USA Awards:

In 2021, 91 Washington cities and towns earned the Tree City USA award for their efforts in maintaining excellence in urban forestry management. A huge shout outs goes to:

Airway HeightsFriday HarborRedmond
Bainbridge IslandHunt’s PointRockford
Bonney LakeKentSequim
BurienLake Forest ParkSpokane
Clyde HillMercer IslandTonasket
College PlaceMonroeTumwater
ColvilleMountlake TerraceTwisp
ConnellNorth BendUniversity Place
Coulee DamOak HarborVancouver
CovingtonOkanoganWalla Walla
EdmondsOrovilleWhite Salmon
EnumclawPort AngelesWoodway
EverettPort TownsendYakima
Fairchild AFBPoulsboYarrow Point
The city of Walla Walla celebrated one of their landmark London Plane trees with the inauguration of a bronze branch sculpture that replaced an aging limb.

This past year we continued to see the growing need for trees and green space as an opportunity for both respite and reconnection. Trees continue to bring communities together throughout the state of Washington, and DNR is incredibly proud of all of the urban forestry stewardship work our partners were able to accomplish throughout 2021. Thank you all for your commitment to continue to make the cities of Washington and greener and healthier place for all.

Does your city, university, or utility want to be recognized for the work you do to steward your trees? Visit the Arbor Day Foundation to learn more about the requirements for Tree Campus, Tree Line and Tree City USA, and other programs they offer.