In a February 20th City Council meeting, City of Mercer Island Mayor Debbie Bertlin offered Proclamation No. 215, which stated that, to raise awareness and urge all citizens to support and encourage the resurgence of local forestry efforts; and emphasizing urban forests not only for the beauty they offer, but the benefits they provide to our residents, communities, and region.
An Arbor Day celebration is the “final requirement needed to obtain the Tree City USA designation,” which both recognizes local city tree support and “makes the city eligible for certain urban forestry grant programs.” The designation provides a platform on which the city and citizens of Mercer Island can celebrate its commitment and achievements of the challenges facing urban tree canopies across the globe.
There are four core values each interested city must adhere to for both consideration and ongoing recognition, including 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.
Mercer Island’s Arbor Day celebration will be on October 20th, 2018 at Luther Burbank Park, “in conjunction with the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust Annual Tree Planting Celebration.”
Mercer Island will be Washington’s 91st recognized city, alongside other local cities committed to urban forestry, such as Bellevue, Clyde Hill, Kirkland, Medina, Redmond, and Seattle. With 34 years committed, Ellensburg is Washington’s longest holder of the Tree City USA designation.
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