The City of Stow was named a 2016 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of its commitment to effective urban forestry management.

The Community also received a Tree City USA Growth Award for demonstrating environmental improvement and a higher level of tree care.

Stow achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the Program's four requirements: 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.

"Tree City USA communities see the impact an urban forest has in a community first-hand," said Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation. "Additionally, recognition brings residents together and creates a sense of community pride, whether it's through volunteer engagement or public education."

Stow Mayor Sara Kline stated that, "Trees are an integral part of our Community's infrastructure and add value to our neighborhoods. The City of Stow continues our proud tradition of being designated as a Tree City USA. Without the dedication of the Urban Forestry Commission, Stow would not have the distinction of being a committed tree community. I am so proud to say that Stow is decidedly 'pro-tree.'"

Trees provide multiple benefits to a community when properly planted and maintained. They help to improve the visual appeal of a neighborhood, increase property taxes, reduce home cooling costs, remove air pollutants and provide wildlife habitat, among many other benefits.

The Tree City USA Program is sponsored by The National Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters. More information on the Program is available at arborday.org/TreeCityUSA.

Stow's Urban Forestry Commission is comprised of community volunteers appointed by the Mayor who meet monthly with the City's Urban Forestry Department's professional staff. Members of the Commission are: Bal Rao, Nancy Kroft, Gordon Matthews, Joseph Lane and Laura Root.

Stow will be recognized at the Tree City USA awards ceremony in Aurora on May 10.