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City of Boulder Recognized as a Tree City by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations and the Arbor Day Foundation

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) along with the Arbor Day Foundation has recognized the City of Boulder with Tree Cities of the World designation. The international program celebrates cities across all continents that meet core standards for the care and planning of urban trees and forests.

To achieve recognition, the city met the five core standards: establish responsibility, set the rules, know what you have, allocate the resources and celebrate achievements. 

“The Tree Cities of the World program recognizes the efforts cities take toward greener, healthier communities,” said Hiroto Mitsugi, assistant director general, Forestry Department, FAO. “The most successful urban landscapes are those that have factored trees into the plan. We applaud the City of Boulder’s work to plant and care for its urban trees.”

Boulder’s Urban Forestry manages approximately 50,000 public trees in city parks and public street rights-of-way. City park and public street trees are inspected for health, structural integrity and safety using industry-set standards and techniques to facilitate the maintenance of a healthy and diverse urban canopy. Since 2013 and the discovery of emerald ash borer (EAB) in the city, Boulder has planted more than 2,900 trees on public property and has provided more than 3,900 trees for residents to plant on private property. In 2018, the city approved the Urban Forest Strategic Plan, a comprehensive assessment of and 20-year plan for the Boulder urban tree canopy, which focuses on four themes of sustainable forestry: plan, manage, protect and engage.

“Boulder is honored to be recognized as a Tree City of the World, and we hope this designation helps our community continue to act on protecting and creating a resilient urban forest for our future,” said Kathleen Alexander, City of Boulder forester. “We need to continue planting a diversity of trees to replace those lost to EAB, and to protect existing trees and encourage community members to learn more or get involved with our partners in the effort like the PLAY Boulder Foundation Tree Trust.”

The Tree Cities of the World program is built off the success of the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA program, which has provided recognition to cities within the United States for more than 40 years. In addition to this new designation, Boulder has been named “Tree City USA” for 35 consecutive years and was also awarded the Tree City USA Growth Award in 2018 by the National Arbor Day Foundation. The vision of the Tree Cities of the World program is to connect cities around the world in a new network dedicated to sharing and adopting the most successful approaches to managing city trees and forests.

Trees provide multiple benefits to a city when properly planted and maintained. They help to improve the visual appeal of a neighborhood, increase property values, reduce home cooling costs, remove air pollutants and provide wildlife habitat, among many other benefits.

More information is available at TreeCitiesoftheWorld.org.

For more information about the Boulder Forestry Program, please visit BoulderForestry.org.

Published: Feb. 4, 2020

Media Contacts:

Denise White, Media Relations, 303-413-7258
Bryan Rachal, Deputy Communications Director, 303-441-3155 

About City of Boulder
Located approximately 30 miles northwest of Denver at an elevation of 5,430 feet, the City of Boulder is home to 103,840 residents and the state's largest institution of higher learning, the University of Colorado. Boulder is a world-class destination with over 300 miles of public hiking and biking facilities. Its spectacular scenery includes more than 45,000 acres of open space. Boulder is a home-rule municipality that is self-governed under the Constitution of the State of Colorado.

About the Arbor Day Foundation
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. Since 1972, more than 350 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world. Our vision is to help others understand and use trees as a solution to many of the global issues we face today, including air quality, water quality, climate change, deforestation, poverty and hunger.

As one of the world's largest operating conservation foundations, the Arbor Day Foundation, through its members, partners and programs, educates and engages stakeholders and communities across the globe to involve themselves in its mission of planting, nurturing and celebrating trees. More information is available at arborday.org.

About the FAO
Established in 1945, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), is a Specialized Agency of the United Nations system that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. The Organization is comprised of 194 Member States, two associate members and one member organization – The European Union. Its aim is to raise levels of nutrition and standards of living for all people in FAO member countries, to secure improvements in the efficiency of production and distribution of food and agricultural products, to ensure the sustainable management of natural resources and to contribute towards expanding the world economy and ensure humanity’s freedom from hunger. FAO is currently present in over 130 countries. 

More information is available at www.fao.org.