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Friday, April 27 is Arbor Day in Illinois. In conjunction with Arbor Day, the City of Evanston is proud to announce that for the 28th consecutive year, the Arbor Day Foundation has designated Evanston as a Tree City USA community. Only 10 other communities within Illinois have a longer consecutive streak than Evanston.

The Arbor Day Foundation also has recognized Evanston’s commitment to urban forestry with the Growth Award. This award is given for demonstrating progress in its community forestry program. In its announcement letter, the Arbor Day Foundation wrote, “The prestigious Growth Award honors environmental improvement and higher levels of tree care in Tree City USA communities.”

Paul D’Agostino, Superintendent for Parks/Forestry and Facilities Management for the City of Evanston, said that the Tree City Award helped Evanston receive two grants from the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus to replace trees that were lost due to the Emerald Ash Borer. In 2011, the grant was for $30,000 and the 2012 grant was for $16,115.

“Communities that are honored with a Tree City USA designation and a Growth Award make a strong commitment to planting and caring for trees, and we applaud their efforts,” said John Rosenow, chief executive and founder of the Arbor Day Foundation. “We also commend a community’s elected officials, volunteers and citizens for providing needed care for its trees. They recognize that trees provide numerous environmental, economical and health benefits for the community every day.”

The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service. More information about Tree City USA can be found here.