Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati has been designated a Tree City USA community for 34 years and awarded the  Growth Award 14 times.

Cinn OHThe Chili Capital of America is home to nearly 300,000 residents, and boasts 85,000 street trees throughout the city. Situated along the Ohio River, Cincinnati has scenic cityscapes and a plethora of nature centers and miles of hiking trails to explore. When you tire of exploring, you can take shade under the city’s 10-20% tree canopy and enjoy a warm bowl of Chili.

Cincinnati is also establishing community gardens, with a newly created garden along the Ohio River that will provide sources of fresh fruit and vegetables for city dwellers. Planting an urban forest along the river will make it more inviting for people and contribute to a healthier watershed.

The city saves $4.7 million in air conditioning costs as a result of its urban forest which is valued at $3.2 million

Is your city worthy of Arbor Day Foundation #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!

Robert Horton, Bastrop, Texas, Beneficiary of the Lost Pines Forest Community Tree Recovery Campaign

photo 12In 2011, wildfires devastated the Lost Pines Forest of Bastrop, Texas. The Bastrop County Complex fire was the most destructive wildfire in Texas history. Two people were killed by the fire, which destroyed 1,673 homes, 32,000 acres of land, 96% of Bastrop State Park, and inflicted an estimated $325 million of insured property damage.

The Arbor Day Foundation, through the generous support of our members and supporters, is working with our on-the-ground partners to bring back the loblolly pine trees that made the Lost Pines Forest one of the most unique and beautiful places in the world, and to bring hope and healing to the people that call Bastrop home.

Robert Horton, a retired real estate broker, has long embraced the importance of community. When his 10 acre property was ravaged by the fire that caused enormous damage to Bastrop, Texas, Robert was devastated. “While Bastrop is just a little bitty spot on the map to others, for us who live here, it is important to us. It is home.”

Robert HortonRecovery was top-of-mind to Robert and his neighbors in Bastrop, a community closely identified with the local Lost Pines Forest that was badly burned by the fire. The Arbor Day Foundation, working with partners on the ground, help Robert and Bastrop to restore hope and begin to heal by planting trees. 5,000 trees were planted on Robert’s 10 acres. He praised the Arbor Day Foundation and its partners. “They are a resource that is so valuable that you can’t put a number on it.”

What does the Arbor Day Foundation Community Tree Recovery program mean to Robert Horton?  “It means reclaiming my property.  I moved here for the forest, and now the forest is gone.  But everyone who puts one tree back in the ground helps to bring the Lost Pines back.”

Do you have an Arbor Day Foundation story that you’d like to share?  Please tell us all about it in the comments section below.  We’d love to hear it!


Hartford, CT

Hartford has been designated a Tree City USA community for 20 years and awarded the  Growth Award  four times.

Bushnell Park CTThe “Insurance Capital of the World” and also one of the oldest cities in the United States, Hartford is brimming with rich history, like Bushnell Park: the first park in the world to be voted for and purchased by a city. Hartford is home to 125,000 residents and 568,000 trees with 26% tree canopy coverage.

The city’s urban forest removes 73 tons air pollution annually, saving $305,000. The clean air is motivation to take a stroll through any of the city’s parks or explore historic Hartford.

Additionally, the city’s urban forest removes 2,440 tons of carbon from the air every year, reducing greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. The benefits the city’s urban forest provides are so great that it has a replacement value of $590 million.

Is your city worthy of Arbor Day Foundation #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!

Danielle Gift, Urban Forester, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation


giftWhen Danielle Gift was ten years old and in the fifth grade, she received her first 10 trees from the Arbor Day Foundation.  So began her love of trees and the natural environment, a passion that intensified as Danielle grew.  While in high school, she was active in the ecology club.  At Northern Arizona University, she earned an undergraduate degree in forestry and focused on ecological restoration, inspired by a desire to make a difference in urban areas as cities increasingly encroach on forestlands. This desire to make a difference lead her to continue her studies at Virginia Tech University, where she participated in a Tree Campus USA planting, and where she earned a graduate degree in urban forestry.

Central Park Summer

Photo Credit | Flickr, Kevin Dooley

Now employed full time as a city forester in New York City, Danielle sees how her life path has been connected by her love of trees.  From her first Arbor Day Foundation trees, to Tree Campus USA, to the community forest of New York City. And Danielle Gift loves her work, characterizing it as “better than I had imagined.”  Continuing, she shared, “I feel like I’m making a difference.”

Do you have an Arbor Day Foundation story that you’d like to share?  Please tell us all about it in the comments section below.  We’d love to hear it!


Fort Wayne, IN

Fort Wayne has received Tree City USA designation for 24 years and has been awarded the Growth Award nine times.

Ft Wayne INFort Wayne is home to 250,000 residents and a diverse variety of activities including 15 museums and art galleries, a botanical conservatory, and three minor league sports franchises, not to mention the 86 public parks one can enjoy. The city’s 29% tree canopy coverage provides shade and beauty to those exploring the city.

Fort Wayne’s urban forest is comprised of more than 54,000 street trees that save the city nearly $300,000 in air filtration costs. In addition, the urban forest reduces energy expenses by $2.5 million and saves $1.7 million in stormwater management annually.

Is your city worthy of Arbor Day Foundation #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!


Honolulu, HI

Honolulu has received Tree City USA designation for 33 years and has been awarded the Growth Award twice.

honoluluWhen most people think of Honolulu they probably think of tropical climates and relaxing resorts, and while the city is a top tourist destination, there is more to Hawaii’s capital than sandy beaches. Honolulu—home to nearly one million residents–has tree canopy coverage of 20%, cooling the city from its warm temperatures.

When you need a break from water sports you might consider hiking some of the city’s old volcanoes. The Division of Urban Forestry is responsible for more than 235,800 trees, so finding a tree to take shade under shouldn’t be a problem when you need some shade. Additionally, Honolulu’s urban forest saves $47,000 in air pollution costs, so you can enjoy the view at the top without smog blocking the scene.

Furthermore, residents save more than $343,000 in energy costs as a result of the city’s urban forest. The dense tree canopy intercepts 35 million gallons of stormwater annually, saving the city more than $350,000 in stormwater management costs.

Is your city worthy of #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!

Florida and Louisiana Celebrate Arbor Day in January

ArborWhile the National Arbor Day observance is celebrated on the last Friday in April, many states and municipalities have implemented state or locally recognized Arbor Days that reflect the best time for planting in their region.  Florida and Louisiana celebrate Arbor Day the third Friday in January.


naples zooNaples has been designated a Tree City USA community for 17 years and Growth Award recipient seven times. Naples Zoo celebrated Arbor Day with a day of tree-related activities for the whole family including tree climbing demonstrations in Rainforest Grove. Partners from local organizations shared information about the value of trees and the best native tree selections for planting in the region. Davey Tree was also on hand to answer all tree care questions.

Winter Haven—a designated Tree City USA community for 21 years and Growth Award recipient six times— will hold a tree give away at Central Park. The event will include tree planting and maintenance demonstrations.


lsu agcenterCovington has been designated a Tree City USA community for 21 years and Growth Award recipient four times. Partnered with Keep Covington Beautiful, the city will celebrate Arbor Day with their traditional annual tree give-away at the Covington Farmers Market on January 17th. A variety of native bare-root seedlings will be available including buttonbush, mayhaw, chickasaw plum, and baldcypress.

Baton Rouge— a designated Tree City USA community for 20 years and Growth Award recipient five times— has numerous celebrations throughout the city, including family fun at the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden. The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and the Burden Horticulture Society are partnering up to host the Arbor Day celebration. Attendees can meet Smokey Bear and participate in a scavenger hunt in the woods, or watch lumber jack demonstrations in the arboretum. Additionally, attendees will be able to take home a tree for planting.


Montgomery AL

Montgomery has received Tree City USA designation for 20 years.

MontgomeryMontgomery — rich in cultural history and heart of the Civil Rights Movement— is located along the Alabama River and home to 200,000 residents.  This state capital offers tourists plenty of attractions, including the Hank Williams Museum, Alabama Shakespeare Theater, and Alabama War Memorial.

Visitors can explore the city and take shade under the city’s tree canopy that encompasses 34% of the city.  Montgomery’s urban forest removes 3.2 million pounds of pollutants from the air annually, equating to $7.9 million in savings. In addition, the city’s tree canopy saves $454 million in stormwater management costs.

Is your city worthy of Arbor Day Foundation #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!

Arbor Day Foundation Visits Peruvian Coffee Farmers

Jared Carlson—Director of Innovation and Business Development— and Ryan Hatt —Business Development Manager—recently returned from a visit to Peru, where they met with some of the coffee farmers who grow our Arbor Day Specialty Coffee.  The following is a recap of their adventures, as recorded by Ryan.  

table  peruAfter a long journey, we arrived in Moyobamba —a city located in northeastern Peru in the center of the Amazon jungle.  This being our first trip to Moyobamba, the first thing we noticed was the lush jungle and oppressive humidity.

Our first morning we met with the member farmers of the up-and-coming Aproeco coffee co-op. Although Aproeco is a newer organization, their passion for growing high-quality coffee and protecting the environment was evident through their efforts in educating farmers on sustainable farming practices, among others.

mushroom peruOne of the farmers, Benedigto Montanero Mellan, gave us a tour of his shade-grown coffee farm. A mix of young and mature trees native to the area covered the farm. Protecting the coffee and the land was very important to Benedigto since he, like many other farmers, depend on both for his livelihood.

While touring Benedigto’s farm, we came across mushrooms growing among the coffee called “orejas” because they look like ears. He picked them, welcomed us into his home, started a wood fire and began cooking. As Benedigto prepared a meal of orejas and plantains for dinner, we explained the mission of the Arbor Day Foundation and the importance of farmers growing shade-grown coffee to protect the environment and provide habitat to rare plant and animal species.

flag peruOur trip to the rain forest was eye-opening. We realize that in addition to visiting the farms, it is important to thank the farmers in person for their work and to encourage them to continue their sustainable farming practices. In many cases, we were the first people from the U.S. that the farmers had ever met—all because they are growing coffee in the shade. Please tell us what you enjoy about Arbor Day Specialty Coffee.


Chicago IL

chicago ilChicago has received Tree City USA designation for 32 years and has been awarded the Growth Award 19 times. 

The Windy City is an alluring hub for the arts, culture, and entertainment. Home to 2.6 million residents and 3,5 million trees, Chicago has a character of its own. This lakefront city is also on the forefront of environmental sustainability, implementing green infrastructure and working toward a denser tree canopy, with current tree canopy coverage at 17.2%.

With so many attractions to explore downtown, one will appreciate the clean air the city’s urban forest sustains, removing 888 tons of air pollution annually and saving the city $6.4 million a year. In addition, Chicago’s trees reduce residential energy costs by $360,000, a sum that many would appreciate.

The benefits that Chicago’s urban forest provides to the city are valued at an astounding $2.3 billion.

Is your city worthy of Arbor Day Foundation #TreeCityUSATuesday recognition?  If so, please tell us about it!