EDWARDSVILLE — The City of Edwardsville is honored to be designated with a Tree City USA Growth Award by the Arbor Day Foundation for the 20th year! This award results from the City's dedication to effective urban forest management.

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The Arbor Day Foundation designates "TREE CITY USA" to communities that work to meet four core standards. The City of Edwardsville has chosen to go beyond those four ideals and commit to a higher level of tree care with five additional categories, resulting in the 20th year to be given the Tree City USA Growth Award. These categories are a point-based system that encompasses:

· Building a solid team through budgets, staff, and training

· Measure trees and forests from base inventory to canopy

· Plan for further policies and strategies

· Watch for opportunities to perform work such as planting trees, maintaining and protecting current trees and natural areas

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· Collaborate with the community through volunteerism, outreach, education, and awareness.

"Since joining the City, I have repeatedly been impressed with our city's dedication towards green spaces and revitalization of plant life in this growing suburban setting," says Nate Tingley, Director of Parks and Recreation. "It is evident in the hard work from the Beautification and Tree Commission, devoted volunteers at Watershed, and the additional wooded acres acquired by the City through Drda Woods and Richards Woods, raising our city parks to over 340 acres."

"Tree City USA communities benefit from the positive effects than an urban tree canopy has year after year," said Dan Lambe, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation, "The trees being planted and cared for by Windsor ensure that generations to come will enjoy a better quality of life. Additionally, participation in this program helps cultivate a sense of stewardship and pride for the trees the community plants and cares for."

Planting trees in suburban spaces comes with numerous benefits past this recognition. Urban tree plantings help reduce energy consumption by up to 25%, which will reduce general energy costs and help with the overall cooling of the City as well. In addition, community members benefit from properly placed trees as they increase property values from 7-20%. Trees also positively affect the local ecosystem by helping clean water and creating animal habitats to encourage biodiversity.

The City of Edwardsville is a flourishing community in the St. Louis Metro East region. The City is the third oldest city in Illinois. To learn more, visit http://www.cityofedwardsville.com/ or call (618) 692-7350.

About the Arbor Day Foundation

Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members, supporters and valued partners. Since 1972, almost 500 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world. Our vision is to lead toward a world where trees are used to solve issues critical to survival.

As one of the world's largest operating conservation foundations, the Arbor Day Foundation, through its members, partners and programs, educates and engages stakeholders and communities across the globe to involve themselves in its mission of planting, nurturing and celebrating trees. More information is available at arborday.org.

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