The Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC) recently recognized the city of Laurel for maintaining its Tree City USA® status for 36 years. Laurel is the longest-running active Tree City USA community in Mississippi.
“Improving the urban tree canopy of a city can have many benefits,” said Russell Bozeman, MFC state forester. “It reduces temperatures and energy costs, as well as reducing air and water pollution.”
An increase in tree canopy also enhances property values, wildlife habitats and aesthetics, while attracting businesses and improving the quality of life for residents.
“The commitment to the Tree City USA® program shows the city of Laurel investment in the management of its urban forestry resources,” Bozeman said.
The Tree City USA® program is a national recognition program sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation that provides a basis for a good community forestry program. Cities must meet and maintain four program criteria – create a tree board or department, create a tree care ordinance, spend at least two dollars per capita on community tree care and hold an Arbor Day celebration and proclamation.
For more information about the Tree City USA® program, visit the Arbor Day Foundation.