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Honolulu Continues Designation As A Tree City Usa, Receives Growth Award
Parks and Recreation’s Division of Urban Forestry marks 42 years of Arbor Day Foundation recognition
O‘AHU – For over four decades now (42 years to be exact), the City and County of Honolulu continues to be recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation, while also receiving a Growth Award in 2022 for demonstrating environmental improvement and an outstanding level of tree care!
With over two dozen certified arborists managing 650 acres of botanical garden land, several nurseries, and an estimated 250,000 street and park trees around O‘ahu, the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation’s Division of Urban Forestry (DUF) proudly accepts these awards as it continues to grow and care for our island’s trees.
“With the onset of climate change people want to do something and help. Planting trees and growing our forests, particularly in urban areas, are some of the best solutions to improve our situation,” said newly hired DUF Administrator Roxanne Adams, who joined DUF in April 2023 after being the Campus Arborist at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. “But it’s not all about just planting trees; it’s about caring for them. These awards belong to the entire island, as we encourage more and more of our neighbors to be part of our Community Forestry team by helping ensure these trees survive. Particularly during the first 18-24 months when a tree is newly planted. Help our trees so they can help us all.”
DUF has worked to grow, maintain, and preserve the City trees on our streets and in our parks since the creation of the Shade Tree Commission in Nov. 1922. For every $1 spent on tree planting and care, our trees provide $3 in benefits. As the only piece of City infrastructure that appreciates in value over time, we must recognize the benefit that an abundant and thriving tree population has for our community now more than ever. Those benefits include, but are certainly not limited to:
•Helping mitigate the impacts of climate change by sequestering and storing carbon
•Filtering the air we breathe
•Providing shade and relief from increasingly hot summers
•Serving as habits for a variety of wildlife
•Intercepting storm water runoff before it enters the ocean
•Reinforcing a sense of community
•Providing other mental and social benefits
Honolulu achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements:
•Maintaining a tree board or department (DUF and Arborist Advisory Committee)
•Having a tree care ordinance (Revised Ordinance of Honolulu Chapter 40)
•Dedicating an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita (approximately $14.3 million Operating Budget in Fiscal Year 2023)
•Hosting an Arbor Day observance & proclamation (each year in early November).
The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation, in partnership with the U.S.
Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters. Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members, supporters and valued partners. Honolulu is proud to be part of an incredible network of more than 3,600 Tree City USA communities nationwide, with a combined population of 155 million people.
If you need an auxiliary aid/service, other accommodations due to a disability, or an interpreter for a language other than English in reference to this announcement, please contact the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation at (808) 768-3003 on weekdays from 7:45 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. or email firstname.lastname@example.org at least three business days before the scheduled event. Without sufficient advanced notice, it may not be possible to fulfill requests.
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