Williamstown at Arbor Day milestone

WILLIAMSTOWN – Williamstown is about to celebrate being named Tree City USA for the 29th year with the planting of the annual Arbor Day tree.

“We want the entire community to come and join us,” said city councilwoman Barbara Lewis.

At 11 a.m. Tuesday, city officials and volunteers will meet in front of 504 Cherry Ave. to plant this year’s Arbor Day tree.

“This one will replace one the city planted years ago that died,” Lewis said.

The city earlier received the items to designate it as a Tree City USA for the 29th year, which allows it to continue to hold the title as longest-running Tree City USA in West Virginia.

Lewis said it is thanks to the former and current members of the tree committee that Williamstown has enjoyed the distinction of being a Tree City USA for so long.

Mayor Jean Ford has said it takes a lot of work for the city and tree committee to keep up with the trees to maintain the recognition.

“It is a lot of work for the city and the tree committee to keep up with,” Ford said. “Even with all of the hard work, it is worth it.”

The four standards to qualify as a Tree City USA: an ordinance describing the care of trees on public property; a tree board dedicated to overseeing tree care, the city must spend at least $2 per capita on tree care for trees on public property; and scheduling an Arbor Day observance in the city each year.

The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service. The NADF believes urban forests help clean the air, conserve soil and water, moderate temperature and bring nature into the daily lives of residents.

National Arbor Day was held in late April.