Westfield Named Tree City USA By Arbor Day Foundation

Westfield has been proclaimed an official Tree City USA. Mayor Michael VandeVelde (left), Christina McLaughlin, Urban Forestry Partnership Coordinator, NYSDEC and Westfield Tree Board Chair Person Pete Holt are pictured accepting the award. The flag is now hanging in the hallway at Eason Hall. Submitted photo

WESTFIELD — As the new banner in the Village Hall indicates, the village of Westfield was recently named a 2022 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation to honor its commitment to urban forest management.

Westfield achieved the recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: Maintaining a tree board or department, having a tree care ordinance, dedicating an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita, and hosting an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

The Tree City program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.

“Tree City USA communities see the positive effects of an urban forest firsthand,” said Dan Lambe, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “The trees being planted and cared for by the village of Westfield are ensuring that generations to come will enjoy a better quality of life. Additionally, participation in this program brings residents together and creates a sense of civic pride, whether it’s through volunteer engagement or public education.”

In 2017, the village board focused on the fact that Westfield had been losing trees due to age, necessary removals, and other causes, and recognized that replacement was lagging. It initiated a tree-planting program called “Re-tree Westfield,” based on a tree management plan created by forestry consultant Bruce E. Robinson, Inc. In 2020 it approved the creation of a Village Tree Board and tasked it with coordinating and advising the village board and the Department of Public Works on tree-related matters. To date, the efforts have resulted in the planting of more than 300 trees.

The village of Westfield recognizes the importance of its “urban forest.” Trees provide natural beauty, improve water quality, help control stormwater runoff, conserve energy by providing cooling shade in the summer while blocking chilling winds in the winter, remove carbon dioxide while producing oxygen, and help to reduce noise.

With the guidance of its Tree Board, Westfield is in the process of having its consultant update the tree inventory and management plan to guide the continued planting more trees throughout the village. The Village Tree Board can be contacted at treeboard@villageofwestfield.org for information or concerns.


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