Arbor Day 2015
Metro's Arbor Day Celebration was held Thursday, March 12, 2015.
Nashville’s annual Arbor Day Celebration included several recognition awards, student essays and tree dedications promoting the importance of trees to our community. Trees help with stormwater and air quality, reduce energy cost, and provide wildlife habitat and beauty.
The Arbor Day Foundation recognition programs include Tree City USA, Tree Line USA and new to Nashville, Tree Campus USA.
Nashville received its 20th Tree City USA designation in recognition of the Metro Tree Advisory Committee, the Metro Tree Ordinance, the expenditure of 2 dollars per capita on trees, and the hosting of the official Arbor Day Ceremony.
For the 7th year, Nashville Electric Service received a Tree Line USA Utility designation. This recognition is given to utilities that demonstrate their commitment to providing safe, efficient service while helping protect and preserve community trees.
Nashville's 3rd Tree Campus USA, Belmont University was recognized. The first 2 Tree Campus USA recipients, Trevecca Nazarene University and Tennessee State University earned this designation in 2013 by showcasing their dedication to the campus environment. The standards include a Campus Tree Advisory Committee, tree care plan with dedicated expenditures, an Arbor Day observance and hosting a service learning project.
Another program highlight was the reading by 3 local 5th graders of their winning Arbor Day student essays, My Favorite Tree.
This year's George H. Cate, Jr. award was presented to the Bellevue Library. Each year, this award is given to an organization whose work exceeds the spirit and intention of the Metro Nashville Tree Ordinance.
The city's Arbor Day ceremony included planting of trees in memory of the following Nashvillians:
- George Barrett - George Barrett, lifelong Nashvillian and attorney, was a social justice champion and a leader in defending desegregation and free speech.
- Cecil Branstetter - Referred to as the father of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County. His love of nature led him to become a founder and President of the Tn. Environmental Council.
- John Stephens - Dedicated Metro Parks employee, he served as the Landscape District Supervisor.
- E. James Utley II - Dedicated Metro employee who served many years in the Metro Courts system, specifically in Judge Randalls Wyatt's Court Room.
A tree was also planted in honor of Lawarence Jackson for his many years of service to the Metro Beautification and Environment Commission.
Mayor Dean read the Nashville Arbor Day Mayoral Proclamation.
Mayor Dean has been a champion for trees and environmental causes. In 2008 he created a Green Ribbon Committee and charged the Committee with the goal of making Nashville the Greenest city in the Southeast. The report, released in June 2009 included goals for open space and the development and maintenance of an urban forest program. The city has been working toward the goals. Two examples are, 1, in February 2009, Mayor Dean signed a Green and Complete Streets ordinance requiring green infrastructure (including trees) to improve stormwater absorption to be an integral part of Metro projects. 2, in December 2011, Mayor Dean created the Metro Landscape Coordination Program to provide an effective framework for a world class green space, trees and landscaping preservation and enhancement program. Mayor Dean has instituted a wide range of policies and procedures to ensure Metro Government and the community continues building the positives strides made toward excellence in environmental stewardship.
Mayor Dean's Arbor Day Proclamation
View photos from the 2015 Arbor Day Ceremony