Avondale Estates was one of 34 Georgia cities recognized as a Tree City USA during the state Arbor Day celebration at Trees Atlanta, February 15. Tree City USA provides the framework for community forestry management in cities and towns nationwide that meet certain requirements, including the establishment of a tree board or department, a community tree ordinance, specific spending levels for urban forestry and planned Arbor Day celebrations. There are 150 Tree Cities USA in Georgia, and nearly 30 percent of the state's population lives in a Tree City. Nationwide, more than 3,400 Tree City USA communities serve as home to about 135 million Americans.
"Trees connect all of us," said Georgia Forestry Commission Director Chuck Williams. "Trees clean our air, filter our water, spur economic growth and provide countless opportunities to enjoy recreation, contributing to a better quality of life. Citizens in Tree Cities USA can be proud of their community leaders' commitment to trees and forested land - on Arbor Day and every other day of the year," Williams said.
In addition to welcoming new Tree Cities, the Arbor Day event also honored Columbus as the longest running Tree City USA community in Georgia, at 40 years. Colleges and universities were recognized in the Tree Campus USA program, while utilities were recognized in the Tree Line USA program.
Due to Georgia's ideal winter tree planting season, the third Friday in February is designated annually as Arbor Day in Georgia. Governor Nathan Deal signed a proclamation naming February 16 as Arbor Day in Georgia for 2018.
For more information about Georgia's trees and services of the Georgia Forestry Commission, visit GaTrees.org. For information about becoming a Tree City USA and the Arbor Day Foundation, visit www.arborday.org.