Galesburg Named 2022 Tree City USA Recipient and Growth Award by Arbor Day Foundation


The City of Galesburg has been named a 2022 Tree City USA recipient by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management, which is the 23rd Consecutive year Galesburg has been recognized as a Tree City USA. The City of Galesburg has been committed to managing public tree resources and encouraging awareness and appreciation of trees in the community. The community also received a Tree City USA Growth Award for demonstrating environmental improvement and an outstanding level of tree care. The award recognizes major milestones in Tree City USA communities that have demonstrated progress in their community forestry program over the past year. Recipients must qualify through an application and point system. This is the 6th time the City of Galesburg has been awarded the Tree City USA Growth Award.

The City of Galesburg achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: maintaining a Tree Commission, having a tree care ordinance, dedicating an annual community Forestry budget of at least $2 per capita, and hosting an Arbor Day observance and proclamation. The City of Galesburg achieved the Tree City USA Growth Award recognition by meeting combined criteria to build sustainable community forestry programs over the long term. This includes efforts to engage the community in tree planting and care, increased funding for urban forestry, and adopting innovative practices to manage and preserve trees in the community.

This past year, the City of Galesburg started Project 350, an initiative to plant 350 trees in Galesburg parks and city terraces. Project 350 was set up to plant 70 trees per year, over a five-year period. This project is ahead of schedule with 112 trees planted in 2022 thanks to the efforts of Project 350, Special Projects Coordinator Tom Simkins, community volunteers, and City of Galesburg employees. This commitment was instrumental in receiving the Tree City USA Growth Award, as the City of Galesburg moves forward to ensure the health of our trees.

The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.

“Tree City USA communities see the positive effects of an urban forest firsthand,” said Dan Lambe, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “The trees being planted and cared for by the City of Galesburg are ensuring that generations to come will enjoy a better quality of life. Additionally, participation in this program brings residents together and creates a sense of civic pride, whether it’s through volunteer engagement or public education.”

If ever there was a time for trees, now is that time. Communities worldwide are facing issues with air quality, water resources, personal health and well-being, energy use, and extreme heat and flooding. With this recognition, the City of Galesburg is doing its part to help address these challenges for residents both now and in the future.

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