According to the Arbor Day Foundation, “Trees Are Simply Amazing! They clean air and water, slow climate change, ease poverty and hunger, prevent species loss, and feed the human soul. All we need to do is plant and care for them. Let’s work together to make it happen around the world.” It’s in this spirit that Arbor Day was founded in Nebraska in 1872.
Known in western North Carolina as a community of woodlands enjoyed by residents and visitors alike, Montreat has been named a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation. At the April 14, 2016 meeting of the Town Council, Shane Baker of the North Carolina Forest Service presented the award to Mayor Tim Helms. In his acceptance, Mayor Helms reflected on the importance of Montreat’s forest canopy, “It is obvious that healthy trees are essential to the quality of life in our community. Trees enrich us with their beauty and many wildlife habitats, while stabilizing stream banks and hillsides.” Helms added, “As someone with a business background, I also see the economic benefits of our forest in enhancing home and neighborhood values and attracting tourists.”
Montreat Tree Board
The Montreat Town Council recently established a Tree Board of citizens and staff to address issues on public lands and rights-of-way. Commissioner Ann Vinson chairs the group. She observed, “Our town employees do a great job in preventing trees from becoming hazards in public areas such as along roads. Tree City status recognizes their dedication, and will help us obtain resources for continued arborist training, make FireWise education more available to the community, and assist with new plantings as the older trees die.”
See Montreat Tree Board at: http://www.townofmontreat.org/TreeBoard.php
What is Tree City USA?
The Tree City USA program has been greening up cities and towns across America since 1976. It is a nationwide movement that provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees. More than 3,400 communities have made the commitment to becoming a Tree City USA. They have achieved 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. See the National Arbor Day Foundation website at: https://www.arborday.org/