Tree City, USA
Established by the Arbor Day Foundation, the Tree City USA program offers cities a framework for managing and expanding their public trees. Being recognized as a Tree City USA is considered an accomplishment and the designation is only given to cities that have met the agency’s core standards of sound urban forestry management. As a recognized Tree City USA city, Happy Valley is dedicated to the planting of trees for a variety of reasons. They protect our creeks and streams, clean the air, and beautify our streets and parks. We believe it is important to replenish the tree canopy and have made a commitment to establish a healthy, sustainable urban forestry program. To do this, Happy Valley invests in trees in a variety of ways, including purchasing trees for replanting and partnering with local non-profits to offer multiple community plantings and maintenance projects that encourage resident participation.
The City also has a robust tree replacement expectation. Tree permits are required for any type of tree removal and tree mitigation is required for any healthy trees that are removed. If a developer is dividing land, the City requires the developer complete a Planned Unit Development (PUD) if more than 10% of the site is in environmentally constrained areas. This ensures a minimum of 20% of the final site contains open space which in turn results in more preservation of natural areas compared to traditional subdivisions found in other cities.
Friends of Trees, an organization that coordinates restoration projects in natural areas, often partners with the City to offer special tree care events that serve to preserve open spaces and promote healthy tree growth. Volunteers help with special projects ranging from mulching and ivy removal, to planting saplings and other native plants. These activities not only serve to enhance the landscape aesthetics, but also create long term ecological health of the City tree canopy.
If you would like to be part of future tree care events in the City, check back with us here or follow us on Facebook. The City will post volunteer projects that you can help support. Most activities in Happy Valley are scheduled in the Spring, so if you missed any of this year’s events, you can always join us next year.