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March 29, 2023
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Two central Oregon towns mark milestones as Tree City USA communities

MADRAS, Ore. – Madras and Bend mark significant milestones as Tree City USA communities this year.  ODF administers the Tree City USA program in Oregon for the national Arbor Day Foundation. ODF Community Assistance Forester Brittany Oxford explains that cities and towns need to meet four criteria to become a Tree City USA: 

  1. Maintain a tree board or department 
  2. Have a community tree ordinance 
  3. Spend at least $2 per capita on urban forestry 
  4. Celebrate Arbor Day 

Madras has maintained its designation for 30 years, according to Oxford. “Right behind them is Bend, which has now had Tree City USA status for 20 years. Bend is also one of three dozen Oregon cities that has planted a peace tree, one grown from the seeds of a ginkgo tree that survived the atom bombing of Hiroshima in 1945.”

Oxford said cities benefit from sustained support of their urban forestry programs. “Trees are a long-term investment. Keeping engaged with maintenance and replacement tree plantings can help a community increase its tree canopy and keep that  urban forest healthy, helping make  that community more climate resilient,” she said.

Other cities marking milestone years include:

  • Rogue River – 40 years
  • Grants Pass – 35 years
  • Coburg, Seaside and Wilsonville – 25 years
  • Klamath Falls – 20 years
  • Cannon Beach, Dallas, Gresham and Lincoln City – 15 years
  • Central Point – 10 years
  • Hillsboro and Umatilla – 5 years

“Although it’s only been a Tree City for five years, Hillsboro has already earned two growth awards for improving and enlarging their urban forestry program, including one this year,” said Oxford. 

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