Williamstown designated Tree City USA

WILLIAMSTOWN — The city of Williamstown has again been designated a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation.

It is the 36th consecutive year for the award. The city first received the recognition in 1984, said Councilwoman Barbara Lewis, who also is the city’s tree commissioner.

“We were the very first Tree City in the whole state of West Virginia,” Lewis said.

Generally a cause for a large celebration in Williamstown on Arbor Day, festivities this year have been canceled by the state Division of Forestry because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Lewis. The city will recognize the achievement and designation at a council meeting in April when a proclamation will be read and recorded, she said.

National Arbor Day is April 24. It is a celebration of the importance of trees and their contribution to the environment.

The city of Williamstown achieved the designation by meeting four program requirements, the foundation said. Requirements are 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 requirement for the observance was removed because of the pandemic and precautions being taken to prevent the spread of the virus, Lewis said.

“Tree City USA communities see the impact an urban forest has in a community first hand,” Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation, said. “The trees being planted and cared for by Williamstown are ensuring that generations to come will enjoy a better a quality of life. Additionally, participation in this program beings resident together and creates a sense of civic pride, whether it’s through volunteer engagement or public education.”

Jess Mancini can be reached at jmancini@newsandsentinel.com.


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