Marysville Appeal-Democrat

Yuba City honored for community forest program

- Appeal Staff Report

Yuba City was recognized late last month for its dedication to improving the local urban forest with the Tree City USA Growth Award from the Arbor Day Foundation.

“After demonstrat­ing high levels of tree care and community engagement, the recognitio­n affirms the city’s commitment to building a sustainabl­e community forest program,” read a release issued by the city.

To qualify for the award, cities must demonstrat­e impressive progress for its

management of inventory.

According to the release, Yuba City completed a detailed, spatial inventory of its street trees and managed park trees in 2021 to inform urban forestry planning, operations and decisionma­king for years to come.

“With support from Cal Fire, the city developed an Urban Forest Master Plan, establishe­d a complete inventory of public trees and conducted new tree plantings with the goal of supporting the management, enhancemen­t, and growth of trees in Yuba City over the next 40 years,” read the release.

The city was also recognized as a 2021 Tree City USA community in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management as a result of the city’s establishm­ent of a board that focuses on its trees, the existence of a tree care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita, and an

Arbor Day observance and proclamati­on. Yuba City officials said the city of Yuba City has earned Tree City USA designatio­n on a near-annual basis since 2000.

“Our urban forest is an incredible asset to all who call Yuba City home by providing shade in the heat of summer, offering habitat for countless species, helping reduce our carbon footprint, and improving our property values,” said Mayor Dave Shaw. “Our urban forest makes Yuba City an incredibly beautiful place to live, work, and play.”

According to city officials, canopy cover in Yuba City has increased by 23.1 percent since 2003 and now totals 11,846 trees – and counting. Those trees represent 156 unique species, with red maples, crepe myrtles, and trident maple the three most common, according to the release. In total, the city’s community trees have an estimated replacemen­t value of $33.6 million.

“There is a saying that ‘The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second-best time is now,’” said Community Services Director Brad Mcintire.

“As a city, we are fortunate to have been enhancing our urban forest for decades. In recent years, we have taken that effort to new heights and are grateful that the return on that investment will pay off for generation­s to come.”

Yuba City officials said the Arbor Day Foundation commended the city for caring for trees at such a critical time, as communitie­s worldwide face issues with air quality, water resources, personal health and well-being, energy use, and protection from extreme heat and flooding. The Foundation recently launched its

Time for Trees initiative to address these concerns, according to the release, with the unpreceden­ted goal of planting 100 million trees in forests and inspiring five million tree planters by 2022.

“Yuba City is proud to join this endeavor,” Mcintire said. “With a strategic commitment to planting new trees each year as street trees, in city parks and greenways, and at city facilities.”

Residents can explore the city’s tree canopy through an interactiv­e map located at storymap/yubacity/.

For more informatio­n, visit urban_forest_master_plan.

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