April 21, 2011 – With Arbor Day approaching on April 29th, the Alton Climate Protection and Energy Efficiency Committee and the City of Alton’s Forestry Division would like to remind residents of the importance of street trees.

Trees located in urban areas promote healthier communities by filtering the air we breathe by removing dust and other particles, moderate climate, conserve water, provide vital habitat for wildlife, reduce the heat island effect caused by pavement and buildings, increase property values, reduce energy use, increase business in commercial areas, and add beauty to our homes and neighborhoods.

Last year, 2010, marked the seventeenth (17th) year that Alton has been a Tree City USA community. 

Alton meets the four standards to be a Tree City USA community.  Tree City USA communities must have a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry program, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

In 2010, the Forestry Division responded to over four hundred sixty (460) tree related requests.  The City planted fifty-six (56) trees in Olin Park and along the creek and hillside at Rock Spring Park.

The 2011 theme for Arbor Day will be International Year of Forests.

More information about Tree City USA can be found at www.arborday.org/TreeCityUSA.

The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit, environmental and educational organization of nearly

one million members, with a mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at www.arborday.org.

The Alton Climate Protection and Energy Efficiency Committee (Cool Cities Committee) meets the first Tuesday of each month, at 4:00 P.M., at City Hall.  The public is invited to these meetings.  

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