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Growing number of Tree City USA communities keep Minnesota green (published April 26, 2021)

Minnesota is home to 111 Tree City USA communities this year, a high mark this century, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Notable recognitions include the city of Wyoming, the state’s newest entrant into the Tree City USA program, and the city of Eden Prairie, which has been designated a Sterling Tree City USA for 10 consecutive years of tree care leadership and public engagement.  

Cities and towns achieve Tree City USA status by meeting four core standards of sound urban forestry management: maintaining a tree board or department; having a community tree ordinance; spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry; and celebrating Arbor Day – which is Friday, April 30.

“The Sterling Tree City USA designation exemplifies the city of Eden Prairie’s commitment to our urban forest," said Lauren Stufft, Eden Prairie forestry technician. "As a community, we value our trees and know that we are better as a whole if we protect and properly manage this resource. This designation reflects the commitment of our city leaders and staff as well as our community members to our urban forest and to ensuring that we are able to enjoy this resource for years to come.”

Emma Schultz, DNR community forest project specialist, said from new entrants like Wyoming to long-time program participants like Eden Prairie, being a Tree City is important to communities  across Minnesota.

“Trees and green spaces can be common ground for all Minnesotans in all communities,” Schultz said. “The Tree City program sets a standard for communities to strive for.”

Tree City USA is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation, in partnership with the National Association of State Foresters and the U.S. Forest Service. Through education and technical assistance, the DNR helps Minnesota communities meet Tree City USA standards.

For more information about community and urban forestry in Minnesota, visit the DNR Community Forestry webpage.