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Grand Rapids earns Tree City and Growth Awards

In partnership with Friends of Grand Rapids Parks and the Mayor’s Greening Initiative, the City planted or distributed more than 1,400 trees in 2020.
Credit: WZZM
Mayor Rosalynn Bliss' annual 'Greening Initiative' began Friday afternoon in Grand Rapids' Garfield Park. This is the 5th straight year for the event.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The City of Grand Rapids recently earned its 23rd Tree City USA Award for its commitment to effective urban forest management. It also earned a Tree City USA Growth Award for displaying higher levels of tree care and community engagement during the calendar year.

The City achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation. It received the Growth Award for achieving major milestones and annual activities in five categories that combine to build sustainable community forestry programs over the long term.

In partnership with Friends of Grand Rapids Parks and the Mayor’s Greening Initiative, the City planted or distributed more than 1,400 trees in 2020. Grand Rapids planted 10 percent of all trees planted by the 126 cities in Michigan that earned Tree City USA status.

“I am extremely proud of this great honor that the City of Grand Rapids has continued to earn for more than two decades,” Mayor Rosalynn Bliss said. “Trees and other plantings help preserve the health and well-being of our residents, protect property values and contribute to Grand Rapids’ exceptional quality of life. I am proud to partner with the Friends of Grand Rapids Parks and thousands of volunteers on the Mayor’s Greening Initiative.”

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.

“Everyone benefits when elected officials, volunteers and committed citizens in communities like Grand Rapids make smart investments in urban forests,” said Matt Harris, 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.”

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