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Allen awarded Arbor Day honor: Sterling Tree City USA
The city of Allen was recognized Saturday by the Arbor Day Foundation as a "Sterling Tree City USA." Allen is one of only eight communities in Texas to be honored with the award, which recognizes environmental improvement and tree care following 10 consecutive years of meeting the criteria for Tree City USA Growth. Allen received its Tree City USA designation in 2001.
The Arbor Day Foundation hosted a celebration of the award at Bethany Lakes Park, with its recognition including demonstrations, exhibits and crafts for children. Attendees were also given tree saplings to take home and plant.
"This was all done by a joint effort by the city of Allen Parks & Rec Department, and the citizens of Allen and, you know, they just do a good job. I think everybody enjoys driving down our streets and seeing our creeks and all the natural beauty that we preserve here in the city of Allen," said Mayor Steve Terrell. "It's all a part of our green effort to make our city the standard we want it to be. This was our 10th consecutive year of being honored as a Tree City USA. We had a great turnout and had a lot of folks out there planting trees out there in Bethany Lakes Park this year. It was just a wonderful day."
Tree City USA, sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation and administered in Texas by the Texas A&M Forest Service, provides direction and recognition for urban and community forestry programs. The minimum standards required for communities to be designated a Tree City USA are having a tree board or forestry department, a public tree care ordinance, a community forestry program and budget, and an Arbor Day celebration.
The Tree City USA Growth Award is given to communities that go beyond the four standards of Tree City USA and accumulate points from a variety of projects that demonstrate improvement and growth of their urban forestry program.
During the past 10 years, the city's population has doubled and thousands of trees have been planted. Allen has earned the Growth Award for projects such as a tree identification interpretive trail, an urban tree waste recycling program, wildlife habitat preservation and collaborative tree planting programs.
"Allen's urban forestry program is a model for other communities," said Gretchen Riley, Tree City USA coordinator for Texas A&M Forest Service.