by Jim Smilie

The City of Alexandria has been recognized as a 2021 Tree City USA community by the Arbor Day Foundation. “While trees have always been important, over the last several years, our need for them has become increasingly clear. Cities across the globe are facing lower air quality,   water resources, decreased personal health and well-being, and greater energy use. Alexandria is now part of the solution, helping create a greener
future for generations to come,” said Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation, in a letter to Alexandria Mayor Jeffrey W. Hall.

Alexandria is one of more than 3,600 Tree City USA Communities. The Tree City USA program, established in 1976, is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters. This is the 28 th time Alexandria has earned the Tree City USA distinction.

“We are pleased to once again receive this honor,” Mayor Hall said. “We consider maintaining and growing our tree population to be a significant contributor to our local quality of life. Our appreciation for the value and benefits of a successful tree program was certainly underscored when we saw the damage wrought by Hurricanes Laura and Delta in 2020. We lost a number of older, established trees in that storm. Storms like that can happen at any time, so it is critical to have a replanting and maintenance plan in place to ensure that we maintain a healthy canopy within the community.”

An official presentation of the award will be made later this year. Arbor Day is an annual observation that celebrates the role of trees in our lives and promotes tree planting and care. It was first observed as a formal holiday in 1872 in Nebraska.

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