The Town of Chesterton announced that it has been named a Tree City USA once again.
For 50 years the Arbor Day Foundation (ADF) has been planting and distributing trees in more than 50 countries around the world. For 27 years, ADF has named the Town of Chesterton a Tree City USA, recognizing the town’s commitment to effective urban tree management.
ADF announced the honor in a letter to Town Council Member Sharon Darnell, D-4th, in a letter dated Feb. 22, according to the Town of Chesterton.
Municipalities must meet four requirements to be eligible for the Tree City USA designation:
*They must establish a tree board or department.
*They must enact a tree care ordinance.
*They must maintain an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita.
*And they must observe Arbor Day by proclamation and a planting.
Some of the particulars listed on the 2021 Tree City USA worksheet submitted late last year to ADF were:
*In 2021 the Street Department availed itself of a cost-share program to plant 59 trees throughout the town (135 man-hours)
*Trimmed and dead-wooded 41 trees (419 man-hours).
*Removed 73 hazard-trees (1,389 man-hours). Some of those hazard-trees had to be removed by contracted tree services, at a cost of $7,400.
*Based on a $20 per hour wage, that work alone cost $38,860.
According to ADF, “Planting trees in an urban space comes with a myriad of benefits past the recognization of this program. Urban plantings help reduce energy consumption by up to 25 percent, which will reduce general energy costs and help with the overall cooling of the city as well. In addition, members of the community benefit from properly placed trees as they increase property values from 7 to 20 percent. Trees also positively affect the local ecosystem by helping to clean water and create animal habitats to encourage biodiversity.”
This year the Chesterton Street Department has applied for a U.S. Forest Service grant to fund the planting of up to 35 trees around town.