On Tuesday, October 18, Marana will plant a tree at Ora Mae Harn Park as part of a ceremony in honor of the Town’s continuing status as a Tree City USA and to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Tree City USA program. The tree planting will occur at 6pm, prior to the Town Council Meeting at 7pm. Arizona State Forestry is providing a commemorative, heritage tree for this event, which will then be included on the state’s heritage tree register.
Tree City USA is a national recognition program that began in 1976, and is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and National Association of State Foresters. Marana joins over 3,400 other cities and towns across America, and 29 cities and towns in Arizona as Tree Cities. Towns and cities that have received their Tree City USA recognition take pride in this distinction, and the people who live there enjoy the valuable benefits of having a greener, healthier community.
The Tree City USA designation is awarded to cities and towns that show a commitment to their community forests by meeting four fundamental standards.
A Tree Board or Department - Larger cities usually have a department or other government official that is responsible for tree care. For the Town of Marana Tree City USA application, the tree board is comprised of representatives from the Parks and Recreation Department, Public Works Department, Planning, Community Development, and Zoning Enforcement. These are the departments that work together to create and manage Marana’s community forest.
A Tree Ordinance - A public tree care ordinance encourages beautification, air-cooling and purification, noise abatement, property value enhancement, and all the other attributes of trees in cities of all sizes. It also enables city government to prevent and control destructive insects and diseases, avoid unnecessary costs and liability from hazardous trees and tree-related accidents, and protect residents from unscrupulous or careless operators. For the Town of Marana Tree City USA application, Title 17 - Environmental Resource Preservation, Native Plant Protection and Landscape Requirements from the Land Development Code was presented as Marana’s Tree Ordinance.
A community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita – There are many methods and funds that can be used to calculate this amount. For Marana’s Tree City USA application this budget was made up from the Public Works Operations and Maintenance and Parks and Recreation Park Maintenance funds expended on tree care and some monies for plan review from Planning.
An Arbor Day Proclamation and Observance – The Town of Marana has officially celebrated Arbor Day annually since 2006 with tree plantings involving volunteers, scouts, school groups, or special event attendees. Most of those years have included an Arbor Day Proclamation signed by the Mayor.