What that means, why it’s significant, and what you can do to preserve it.

Yep, you read that right.

Fullerton is on the list of “2020 Tree City USA – Communities in California” list published in June by the Arbor Day Foundation.

Gif courtesy of giphy.

As a Fullerton City small business, Wild Goose Escape is proud that our city made it to the list.

And we’re ready to do our bit to spread awareness about it, so Fullerton can retain its place on the list in the years to come.

Image courtesy of Visual Stories || Micheile on Unsplash

And that’s what this blog post is all about.

Tree City USA

Image courtesy of Leonhard Niederwimmer from Pixabay.

Tree City USA is a program started in the year 1976 by the Arbor Day Foundation as a national movement.

It helps cities and towns across the USA protect and grow their public tree cover.

In other words, it supports urban forestry.

What is the Arbor Day Foundation?

Image courtesy of Markus Winkler on Unsplash.

As you might have guessed, the Arbor Day Foundation was set up to further the goals of National Arbor Day.

It’s one of the largest nonprofits worldwide dedicated to planting trees.

Image courtesy of Noah Buscher on Unsplash.

It runs several programs in the USA, one of which is the Tree City program.

How does a city become a Tree City?

Gif courtesy of giphy.

The city has to implement a four step framework, demonstrating a commitment to urban forest management…

  • They have to maintain a tree board.
  • They must have a community tree ordinance.
  • A minimum of $2 per capita must be spent on urban forestry.
  • They must celebrate Arbor Day.

Compliance and performance are audited every year.

How long has Fullerton been a Tree City?

This is a screenshot from the official list of Tree Cities USA 2020.

As you can see, Fullerton isn’t a recent entrant – it’s been on the list for 39 years.

The city officially maintains over 40,000 inventoried trees.

What’s the point of being a Tree City?

Image courtesy of D. Jameson RAGE on Unsplash.

Becoming a tree city, and working towards maintaining that status year after year yields several benefits for local communities.

Everyday benefits

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Well-maintained community forests ensure plentiful spaces for people to meet up outdoors, particularly on hot days.

Open air events are easier to organize.

Finally, urban forests can become a place to visit for tourists.

Longer term benefits

Trees can help maintain air quality by filtering out dirt and some germs from the air.

They also have a cooling effect, which is particularly important given how asphalt and concrete in cities tend to create heat islands.

Finally, trees are said to have a calming effect on our minds, which has several benefits, including

worker satisfaction, students’ ability to concentrate, faster healing time for hospital patients, and lower blood pressure among senior citizens.

How you can get involved

Image courtesy of Adi Goldstein on Unsplash.

You too can get involved in managing Fullerton’s urban forests so it retains its status as a Tree City next year.

Attend workshops like this one to better understand the subject.

Get involved in policy planning, and make your voice heard in the debate.

 

And, if you get bored and need a pick-me-up, try out Fullerton’s premier escape room.

 

You can see the entire list of California Communities that have been awarded Tree City USA status for the year 2020 here.

 

Inspired by this news report.

 

Banner image courtesy of  Ryan Hafey on Unsplash.