Ceremonies celebrating Tree City USA took place in 51 communities across Virginia. The towns, cities and military installations that have achieved Tree City USA certification satisfy guidelines from the Arbor Day Foundation (ADF).
"Trees are much more than a pretty face," said Barbara White, urban and community forester with the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF). "They're vital to our quality of life and the environment. They help clean the air we breathe and the water we drink. And, when properly placed beside a home, trees can even help us conserve energy."
The ADF reports 48 percent of Virginians live in a Tree City USA Community and local government spending on community forestry programs averages $6.28 per capita annually.
The 2012 designees are listed. Criteria include: having a Tree Board or Department; a Tree Care Ordinance; a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.