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Arbor Week 2008: Forty-nine Oregon communities earn "Tree City USA" status
Contacts: Paul D. Ries, 503-945-7391
Cynthia Orlando, 503-945-7421
The Oregon Department of Forestry is pleased to announce that Oregon now has forty-nine Tree City USA communities - the highest ever total for the state. 
The cities of Gervais, Happy Valley, and Sisters are receiving their first-ever awards this month as additions to Oregon’s growing list of Tree City USA communities, and Banks is regaining its status. Tree City USA, a program of the National Arbor Day Foundation sponsored by the Oregon Department of Forestry, recognizes cities that develop programs to plant and care for trees.
In addition to these two first-time awardees, Oregon "Tree Cities" being recertified this year include Albany, Ashland, Baker City, Beaverton, Bend, Brownsville, Coburg, Coos Bay, Corvallis, Cottage Grove, Eagle Point, Echo, Eugene, Forest Grove, Grants Pass, Klamath Falls, La Grande, Lake Oswego, Lebanon, Madras, McMinnville, Medford, Metolius, Monmouth, Philomath, Portland, Redmond, Reedsport, Rogue River, Salem, Sandy, Scio, Seaside, Sherwood, Sunriver, Sweet Home, Talent, Tigard, Tillamook, Toledo, Troutdale, Tualatin, West Linn, Willamina, and Wilsonville.
"These cities are to be congratulated for taking the steps necessary to make their communities more livable through planting and caring for trees," says Marvin Brown, State Forester for the Oregon Department of Forestry. "Cities that take an active role in managing forestry issues clearly care about improving public safety, stimulating economic development, and making their communities a better place to live and work.” Representatives from the Oregon Department of Forestry are going to be on-hand to present the awards at local ceremonies in each city during the month of April.
Cities must meet these four criteria set forth by the National Arbor Day Foundation in order to receive the Tree City USA designation:
* adopt a tree care ordinance;
* establish a program, tree board or commission;
* spend at least $2 per capita on a community tree care program; and
* conduct an Arbor Day or Arbor Week ceremony.
TreeCityGrowth Awards
Oregon has another reason to celebrate, as the following eight Oregon cities are also receiving a Tree City Growth Award: Corvallis, Eagle Point, Echo, LaGrande, Lebanon, Medford, Tualatin, and Wilsonville.
"These Growth Awards recognize cities for environmental improvement and the completion of special projects over the year, and for encouraging higher levels of tree care," says Paul D. Ries, ODF Urban and Community Forestry program manager. “Growth awards are an important milestone for a community because they show a high level of ongoing commitment to trees, tree appreciation, and quality tree care."
According to Ries, both the Tree City USA and the Tree City Growth Awards acknowledge a city's commitment to capitalize on the economic, environmental, and social benefits trees provide to their community.
“Successful municipal tree care programs spread a message to all Oregonians - that trees make a difference in a community, contributing to quality of life not just by providing shade, but by increasing property values, lowering heating and cooling bills, and reducing noise and pollution,” says Ries.
Adds Ries, “These cities and their citizens realize that when we invest in trees, the trees pay us back many times over with the services they provide."  The 49 Oregon cities are among more the 5,000 cities across the U.S. receiving theTree City USA award this spring.

City officials interested in learning more about the program can contact Ries at (503) 945-7391.
For more information on Arbor Day and Tree City USA Visit the national  National Arbor Day Foundation or ODF's Tree City USA web page.
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