Tree City USA

Vancouver has been recognized as a TREE CITY USA since 1989. The TREE CITY USA program is designed to recognize communities that effectively manage their urban forest and meet the four TREE CITY USA standards. Vancouver has continually been selected for this national recognition for effectively managing its urban trees as a valuable natural resource. Maintaining this national status shows that the City and citizens recognize that urban trees are closely linked to our quality of life and take pride in working together as stewards to preserve and enhance the urban forest.

The National Arbor Day Foundation, in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service and Washington State Department of Natural Resources' Urban and Community Forestry Program, recognizes towns and cities across Washington and the United States that meet the standards of the TREE CITY USA program.

Vancouver must meet these four standards:

  1. Have an established legal tree governing body (Vancouver's Urban Forestry Commission),
  2. Maintain a comprehensive community forestry program that spends at least $2 per capita on the urban forest (Vancouver's Urban Forestry Division),
  3. Maintain a tree care ordinance (Street Tree Ordinance Title 12.04 and Tree Conservation Ordinance Title 20.770), and
  4. Hold an annual Arbor Day Observance and Proclamation (celebrated locally on the second Wednesday in April).

These standards provide a basic structure for the Vancouver Urban Forestry Division, require us to demonstrate success based on the meeting and exceeding the standards, and provide for an awareness and appreciation of the urban forest among our citizens and elected officials.

TREE CITY USA is an ongoing community improvement program, therefore we must apply for the award each year. Ongoing recognition not only contributes to our community's pride, but also keeps us in touch with other cities and resources, which can help to improve our program.