Local Towns Continue to Receive “Tree City” Honor by Arbor Day Foundation

Tree City USA (courtesy)

The cities of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara County, Lompoc, and Goleta have once again secured their status as “Tree Cities,” acknowledging their dedication to urban forestry and the preservation of green spaces. This recognition comes from the prestigious Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA program, exemplifying their commitment to maintaining and enhancing their urban tree canopy.

The Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA program, established in 1976, aims to promote the importance of trees in urban environments and provide a framework for communities to grow and sustain their tree cover.

By fulfilling the program’s criteria, these four cities have demonstrated their devotion to the well-being of their residents and the enhancement of their natural surroundings.

“Everyone benefits when elected officials, volunteers and committed citizens in communities like Lompoc make smart investments in urban forests,” said Dan Lambe, 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.”

Each city met the four overarching standards set by the Arbor Day Foundation in order to receive this prestigious recognition:

  1. Establishment of a Tree Board or Department: Designating individuals or groups responsible for the care of all trees in city-owned properties, facilitating better decision-making, and promoting public awareness about the significance of trees in the community.
  2. Implementation of a Community Tree Ordinance: Enacting a public tree care ordinance or law to govern the maintenance, planting, and removal of trees in public spaces, ensuring the protection and sustained management of the urban tree canopy.
  3. Allocation of Budget for Urban Forestry: Investing a minimum of $2 per capita in urban forestry, showcasing the city’s commitment to the growth and maintenance of valuable public trees.
  4. Celebrating Arbor Day: Marking this occasion with activities that raise awareness about the significance of trees and encourage their continued preservation by involving members of the community.

With these initiatives in place, the recognized cities are not only contributing to the conservation of green spaces but are also welcoming a range of benefits such as cleaner air, cooler temperatures, reduced energy costs, increased property values, and improved mental and physical health among their residents.

The continued recognition as Tree Cities by the Arbor Day Foundation reflects their steadfast commitment to environmental sustainability and sets an inspiring example for communities across the nation.

For further details and information, please visit the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA program.

Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

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4 Comments

  1. The Arbor Day Foundation needs to be contacted, notified that the way Santa Barbara respects its “landmark trees” is to let them suffer and then, after amateurishly pruning them, kill / cut them down to put them out of their misery.

  2. Has the Arbor Day Foundation ever visited Santa Barbara? Ever seen its iconic, its historic and Landmarked Doremus Stone Pines. It would seem not!! They should be notified, perhaps sent a link to this Edhat story and its comments!

    The Foundation’s three requirements need to be examined. Probably the $2 minimum per capita is allocated: salaries for Santa Barbara City workers are high; however, the responsiveness of many of those Parks workers to the public is correspondingly low, especially by the highly paid Parks Director. (See https://transparentcalifornia.com/salaries/2023/santa-barbara/)

    I am very sad to see these iconic trees white-paint-Xed; sadder, still, to have seen so many dwindling away, as those in front of the high school. Other cities’ Stone Pines surveyed, Lompoc’s, for instance, look healthy but they border a wider and dead-ending street. Their replacements are 8-10 feet tall, not the little dwarf-like creature in front of the church on Anapamu/Laguna. Our city government, its councilmembers and mayor, apparently do not care.

    And regular care IS the big issue. What’s being done besides chopping down these much-loved trees? Apparently, nothing! There’s an apparent lack of care that’s shameful, with the only efforts Xing/chainsawing and then talk about heavy duty pruning which, undoubtedly, will be a slow death to those so inflicted.

    I watched the recent HLC meeting expecting something to be said by Jill Zachary, Parks Director, but she was a no-show. Maybe Santa Barbara can learn from Lompoc — or Rome, where there are an estimated 60,000 Stone pines (some say, 300,000). They, too, face problems “numerous risks and dangers” (efi.int – European Forest Institute), mostly pests that do not seem to be the issue in Santa Barbara. Here, negligence is….

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