Montgomery County Named 2013 Tree City USA
In recognition of its commitment to effective urban forest management, Montgomery County has been named a 2013 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation.
The County earned the recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: having a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.
County Executive Ike Leggett said, “I am proud that Montgomery County has continued its 18-year tradition of being selected as a Tree City USA. As our population continues to grow, it is incumbent upon us to make sure that we have in place, beneficial measures, laws and regulations that will ensure a healthy, viable environment for current and future generations.
“Everyone benefits when elected officials, volunteers and committed citizens in communities like Montgomery County make smart investments in urban forests,” said John Rosenow, founder and chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation.
To help enhance the County’s urban and suburban forestry and canopy covers, Leggett, in 2012, proposed a Tree Canopy Bill that would, he said, “enhance our environment and protect tree resources threatened by development.”
In July 2013, he signed the bill into law that sets forth procedures for planting new trees across the County to help ensure a better future for residents and the environment. It became effective March 1, 2014.
Under the law, property owners are required to plant new trees during development. As related to the law, “development” is any time when property owners must get a sediment control permit in order to complete work being planned for their properties.
Most small tree projects on residential properties — for example, removing one or two trees or trimming trees — do not require sediment control permits, and therefore, the law does not apply.
More information on the Tree City USA program is available at www.arborday.org/TreeCityUSA.