Louisville has been recognized by the nonprofit Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA community for its commitment to urban forestry. It is the 13th year Louisville has earned this recognition. Mayor Greg Fischer accepted the award on behalf of the city at the Louisville Arbor Day Festival, held today at Cherokee Park.
“Being named a Tree City USA for the thirteenth year demonstrates that this community has made it a priority to plant and nurture trees and grow our city’s tree canopy,” Fischer said.
The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service. Presenting the award was Peter Barber, Urban and Community Forestry Partnership Coordinator for Kentucky’s Division of Forestry.
Joining the Mayor at Cherokee Park were 8th District Metro Councilman Tom Owen, Metro Parks officials, local tree company volunteers donating their services at the park in support of the Mayor’s Give a Day week of service and nearly 200 students from Cane Run, Portland, Whitney Young and St. James elementary schools, who engaged in environmental education activities, including tree plantings.
The Arbor Day event included a memorial tree planting in honor of David Manier Schneider, the late son of Dr. Paul and Katy Schneider. Ms. Schneider is a co-chair of the Louisville Metro Tree Advisory Commission.
“Everyone benefits when elected officials, volunteers and committed citizens in communities like Louisville make smart investments in urban forests,” said John Rosenow, founder and chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Trees bring shade to our homes and beauty to our neighborhoods, along with numerous economic, social and environmental benefits.
Earlier this year, the Arbor Day Foundation named the University of Louisville a Tree Campus USA. The designation “shows how much UofL is committed to sustainability and managing one of our greatest campus assets, the campus forest,” said Aaron Boggs, assistant director, physical plant maintenance.
Belknap Campus has more than 2,500 trees. Criteria to be a Tree Campus USA, however, are not about the number of trees a university has, but rather what it does to take care of them and to involve students in protecting and preserving trees. To receive the designation, a university must have a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures toward trees, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning projects.
“We’re proud of our beautiful, tree-lined campus and just as proud of our staff, students and faculty who are committed to keeping it that way,” said President James Ramsey.
Photo Credits: Arbor Day Foundation, WDRB, University of Louisville