CITY OF LEBANON COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE
POINT OF CONTACT: Derek Gean
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lebanon to receive Tree City USA designation
The City of Lebanon is set to be designated as a Tree City USA at the Arbor Day Celebration scheduled for 12:30 p.m. April 26 at Gasconade Park.
Lisa Allen, state forester with the Missouri Department of Conservation, is scheduled to be at the ceremony to present the City with the award.
The Tree City USA program has been in place in the United States since 1976. It is a nationwide movement that provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees.
The Lebanon Parks Department has been working in conjunction with the Lebanon Rotary Club, Lebanon Tree Board and the Missouri Department of Conservation to make this designation a reality.
According to John Shelton, parks director, parks nationwide have started making the transition from parks being open green spaces to more environmentally-friendly areas of trees, shrubs and native grasses.
"This change started in Lebanon about 20 years ago at Harke Park, when the parks department planted approximately 100 trees in the new park which was mostly open grassy space," Shelton said.
"It took legs about two years ago when the Lebanon Rotary Club approached us about planting trees as part a program of planting a tree for every Rotarian, from there, the city council and park board decided to pursue becoming a Tree City," he added.
With the guidance of the Lebanon City Council the park board, along with help from the Lebanon Rotary Club, the Missouri Department of Conservation, several other groups and the citizens of Lebanon, the goal has been realized.
In the past two years, more than 225 trees and shrubs and have been planted, and there are plans to create two native grass areas.
"As we all endeavor to become more environmentally friendly, the planting of trees, shrubs and native grasses are an important step in this process," Shelton said.
According to the Arbor Day website, more than 3,400 communities have committed to becoming a Tree City USA. Those commitments include maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day.