March 21, 2014 - Knoxville was named a 2013 Tree City USA community by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of is commitment to effective urban forest management.
The City also received a Tree City USA Growth Award for demonstrating environmental improvement and a higher level of tree care.
This is the 23rd consecutive year that Knoxville has been named a Tree City USA community by the Arbor Day Foundation. Knoxville achieved Tree City USA 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.
In addition, Knoxville has hired a full-time Urban Forester, who is responsible for managing public trees and expanding tree canopy within the city.
"Continuing to be recognized as a Tree City USA community shows that Knoxville understands the importance of trees and the benefits they provide our community," said Kasey Krouse, the City's Urban Forester. "Trees are the one piece of community infrastructure that actually increases in value over time."
Cleaner air, improved storm water management, energy savings, increased property values and encouragement of commercial activity are among the benefits enjoyed by Tree City USA communities.
A cherry tree blooms in the 500 Block of North Gay Street, where a recent Streetscape project added landscaping and improved sidewalks.
This year, the City of Knoxville planted more than 600 trees on public property
and created an Urban Forestry Division.
"The City is moving away from only being reactive to tree-related issues and forging ahead to a proactive urban forestry program that improves the health of trees, increases public safety and improves the aesthetics of the community," Krouse said.
The Arbor Day Foundation award will be presented at the City of Knoxville's Arbor Day celebration, 9 a.m. Friday, April 25, at Fountain City Elementary School, 2910 Montbelle Drive.