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Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Preservation of trees earns city certification

Preservation of trees earns city certification

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The City of Harker Heights has recently been re-certified as a Tree City USA for the fifth year in a row.

Tree City USA is a nationwide movement that provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees according to the National Arbor Day Foundation Website.

“Tree City USA certification illustrates the dedication the city has for the preservation of trees,” said Jerry Bark, City of Harker Heights Parks and Recreation Director.

In order for a city to become certified a City must complete four standards, which are, establish a Tree Advisory Board, establish and maintain a Community Tree Ordinance, have a Community Forestry Program with an Annual Budget of at least $2/capita, and host an Arbor Day Observance and Proclamation.

The City of Harker Heights will host their annual Arbor Day celebration on Saturday, April 30 from 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. The location of the Arbor Day Celebration has yet to be determined.

When asked if there were any other facts that he felt the citizens of Harker Heights should know about Tree City USA, Bark replied with some fun facts about trees.

  • Tree shaded surfaces can be 20–45°F (11–25°C) cooler than surfaces in direct sun, helping homeowners reduce summer cooling costs.
  • Trees reduce storm water runoff by capturing and storing rainfall in the canopy and releasing water into the atmosphere through evapotranspiration.
  • One large tree can provide a supply of oxygen for two people and trees improve the quality of life by providing aesthetic value, habitat for many species, and can reduce noise.

Another benefit of trees are they cut 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 $2 billion annually in energy costs according to the National Arbor Day Foundation Website.

While the City has become certified as a Tree City USA, you can also participate by joining the National Arbor Day Foundation. With each membership you will receive 10 free trees to plant in your own yard.

If you would like to learn more about the Tree City USA program or National Arbor Day Foundation, visit https://www.arborday.org/programs/treecityusa/index.cfm

About

Bridget is a Mother to four and has been a Military Wife for 17 years. She is the author of the Dear Military Spouse - Ask Bridget column, a journalist, editor for Harker Heights Evening Star, and professional photographer. She is also the face behind Antics of a Nutty Hiker, and loves to spend her time out on the trails racking up miles.

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