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Metro Nashville Recognized as a Tree City USA: 18 Years!

Jenna Smith

Tree City USA sign2013 marks the 18th consecutive year Nashville has been recognized by The Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA!

This national recognition and designation is achieved by meeting the four qualifying standards which help a city to have a viable tree management plan and program.

  • Host a Tree Board or Department: Metro Tree Advisory Committee, Metro Public Works and Metro Parks
  • Have a Tree Ordinance: Landscaping, Buffering and Tree Replacement Ordinance
  • Have a Community Forestry Program with an Annual Budget of at least $2 Per Capital Budgets include: Public Works, Parks and NES
  • Hold an Annual Arbor Day Celebration.

In 2013, Metro was also awarded the distinguished Growth Award in recognition of the establishment of the new Landscape Coordination Program within Public Works.

In conjunction with Metro’s 2013 Arbor Day celebration, Public Works installed eight new Tree City USA signs on busy Pikes across the city. These recognition signs help Nashvillians take pride in their community!

There are 39 cities in this program in Tennessee which is administered by the Tennessee Division of Forestry, Urban Forestry department.

Benefits of the Tree City USA Program

Framework for Action: The core standards provide the framework and direction for the strategic management of community trees. Others regularly enhance their management through ordinances, innovative programs and increased emphasis on planting and tree care.

Education: Annual participation provides the opportunity to educate people who care about their community about the value of tree resources, the importance of sustainable tree management and engage individuals and organizations in advancing tree planting and care across the urban forest.

Public Image and Community Pride: Participation helps residents feel good about the place they live and work. Annual recognition shows visitors and residents that trees, conservation and the environment are an important part of life in the community.

Publicity: Participation presents an opportunity to educate the public about your community's urban forestry program and showcase the benefits of community trees. Tree boards, parks departments, public works officials and volunteers, alike, are recognized for the valuable work they provide to the community through sustainable tree management. Many communities share in their Tree City USA recognition across city departments, elected officials, volunteers, students and business leaders.

Values of Community Trees

The Metro Beautification and Environment Commission provides hundreds of education programs each year to thousands of students and adults. Topics include trees, recycling, waste management and more. Trees are a major component of environmental excellence. The value of community trees include: 

  • Reduced costs for energy, storm water management, and erosion control. Trees yield up to 3 times their cost in benefits to a city.
  • Reduced energy consumption by up to 25%. Studies indicate that as few as three additional trees planted around each building in the United States could save our country $2 billion, annually, in energy costs.
  • Increased property values. Properly placed trees can increase property values from 7-21% and buildings in wooded areas rent more quickly and tenants stay longer.
  • Stronger ties to neighborhoods and communities. Trees and green spaces correlate to greater connections to the neighborhood and neighbors.