Contact: Frank Zeoli, Deputy Commissioner
ALBANY, NY – Today, Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Department of General Services Commissioner Sergio Panunzio announced that the City of Albany has been recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation for the 20th consecutive year.
Started in 1976, Tree City USA is one of the Arbor Day Foundation’s oldest programs. The foundation founders had a vision for a greener, healthier America, and hoped this initiative would inspire change on a nationwide level. In 1976 there were only 42 communities in 16 states recognized as Tree City USA. Today, the program includes more than 3,600 communities from all 50 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico.
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, “The Tree City USA program provides Albany with a framework to maintain and grow the City’s tree cover. It also gives Albany an avenue to celebrate our work, showing residents, visitors, and the entire country that we’re committed to the mission of sustainability. Thank you to Commissioner Panunzio, Deputy Commissioner Zeoli and our hard working forestry team at DGS for making this initiative a priority and earning Albany this title year after year.”
Tree City USA recognition requires cities to have a Tree Board or Forestry Department, a Tree Care Ordinance, a Forestry Program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita, and Proclaim and Observe Arbor Day, all of which the City of Albany maintains.
The benefits trees bring to urban environments are endless — and by earning Tree City USA recognition, Albany residents experience them firsthand some of which are cooler temperatures; cleaner air; higher property values and healthier residents.
“I am proud that the City of Albany has been deemed a Tree City USA for twenty years straight. It is a testament to our forestry division as we recognize their hard work in maintaining and improving our urban forest” said Sergio Panunzio, DGS Commissioner.