Tree City U.S.A. community

The Arbor Day Foundation named the town of Valley Head a 2017 Tree City U.S.A. community due to their dedication to the management of urban forestry management.

The standards to qualify for this recognition must be submitted every year.

Dan Lambe is the president of the Arbor Day Foundation.

In a press release from the foundation Lambe says, “Tree City U.S.A. communities see the impact an urban forest has in a community first hand.”

He went on to say that the recognition brought by being a Tree City U.S.A. brings residents together and creates a sense of community pride through participation and education.

These requirements include an active tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, a forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita, and the town must have an observance and proclamation of Arbor Day.

Debra Rhodes, the Valley Head Town Clerk said, “this is the eighth consecutive year for the town to qualify as a Tree City U.S.A. community.”The tree board for Valley Head consists of several members in the community and a council member as the chairperson.

The board then is required to develop and carry out their own tree ordinance.

“The tree ordinance contains things like what trees are in the area and what’s required to maintain the health of those trees,” Rhodes said.

She said the ordinance would include things such as spacing, pruning, removal of dead trees and such.

In regards to having to remove dead or diseased trees, Rhodes said, “if a tree has to be cut down, we try to put at least two trees back in the city.”

While the ordinance is the foundation of the tree care program, every city has to have someone to carry out the maintenance of those trees.

Kenny Chamlee is the person responsible for the care of the Valley Head Trees.

Rhodes said Chamlee does a great job keeping up with the maintenance of the trees in regards to ordinances we have in place.

The town budget for the forestry management must be $2 per capita or more. This budget is to fund the maintenance that is carried out according to the implemented ordinance.

According to the Arbor Day Foundation website, www.arborday.org, a program could not reach it’s full potential without the Arbor Day observation and proclamation, making it the final requirement to be named a Tree City USA community.

Valley Head takes time each year to honor Arbor Day by planting a couple trees in the town park.

Rhodes said that Valley Head is proud of it’s trees and being a Tree City USA community, and “the commitment has made our city a brighter and a more beautiful place.”

As mentioned in a previous article, Rainsville is also a Tree City U.S.A. community and has been for three years.

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