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Contact(s):Peter Rausch
Urban Forester
501-374-TREE (8733)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Friday, March 09, 2007

LITTLE ROCK RECEIVES 'TREE CITY USA' DESIGNATION FOR 6TH STRAIGHT YEAR

LITTLE ROCK A ‘TREE CITY USA’ FOR 6TH STRAIGHT YEAR
Designation Recognizes City’s Commitment to Natural Environment

(Friday, March 9, 2007) – The National Arbor Day Foundation, one of the nation’s leading conservation groups, has recently recognized Little Rock for its ongoing commitment to trees and proper tree care. The Foundation has certified Little Rock as Tree City U.S.A. for the sixth straight year. In addition, Little Rock also received the Growth Award for outstanding progress in urban forestry partnership programs.

Peter Rausch, the City’s Urban Forester, stated “This should be a great source of pride; the Tree City U.S.A. certification demonstrates that the community believes that trees, forests and greenspace are important to the recreational uses, aesthetics and environmental health of our City. Promoting proper tree care and public education about urban forestry issues in Little Rock can be more actively focused.”

Among the requirements of becoming a Tree City U.S.A., the National Arbor Day Foundation requires that 1) the City have an ordinance addressing trees and their care, 2) the City have an Urban Forestry department, 3) the City have an annual tree care budget of at least $2.00 per capita, and 4) the City have an Arbor Day observance and proclamation. This past year Arbor Day celebrations were held involving the planting of twenty-five trees at several local elementary schools involving over 300 3rd through 5th grade students. Rausch says he was impressed with the students during the educational programs he conducted. “Their knowledge about trees and the importance of the natural environment to the city was encouraging” he says.

Rausch hopes that continuing to be certified as a Tree City U.S.A. will help the community understand more about the City’s Urban Forestry program which includes tree planting, pruning, maintenance of existing trees, removal of dangerous trees and recycling efforts. For more information regarding trees and Urban Forestry, contact Mr. Rausch with the Parks and Recreation, Urban Forestry division.

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