April 25, 2016
Lincoln, Neb. — More than 100 cities, colleges and utilities were recognized at the annual Tree City USA Recognition Day April 5 in Lincoln. Together they invested more than $6.5 million in their communities. The Nebraska Forest Service and the Nebraska Community Forestry Council acknowledged their work through awards for Tree City Growth, Tree City, Tree Campus and Tree Line USA. Nebraska First Lady Susanne Shore was a guest speaker for the event.
"Communities are realizing they have to take a proactive role to protect and plant trees that offer beauty, shade, diversity, energy savings and so many other benefits," said Jessica Kelling, coordinator of the ReTree Nebraska Initiative.
The eastern Nebraska recipients of the 2015 Tree City USA award are:
***South Sioux City
*Auburn has received a TCUSA award for the last 40 years and is one of only 16 communities nationwide with that long history. E.C. Hartwig has been involved with the tree board for all 40 years and is the current community forestry contact.
**Boys Town, Grand Island, Kearney, and Ralston received Tree City Growth awards for 30 years of TCUSA.
***Bellevue, Gretna, Laurel, Lincoln and South Sioux City received Tree City Growth Awards for practicing higher levels of tree management.
In western Nebraska, recipients of the 2015 Tree City USA award include:
*Sidney received Tree City Growth awards for 30 years of TCUSA.
**Gering received Tree City Growth Awards for practicing higher levels of tree management.
"Many communities in western Nebraska have begun to see the payoff for landscape efforts in terms of reduced cost, easier management and all the other benefits of having more beautiful and livable neighborhoods," said Amy Seiler, NFS community forestry specialist for western Nebraska.
Eight college campuses received Tree Campus USA awards. This was the first year the Hastings College received the Tree Campus USA award.
Metropolitan Community College in Omaha
Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture
Nebraska Wesleyan University
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
University of Nebraska Medical Center
University of Nebraska at Omaha
Four public utilities were Tree Line USA recipients:
Lincoln Electric System
Nebraska City Utilities
Nebraska Public Power District
Omaha Public Power District.
The Nebraska Forest Service, an affiliate of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln works to enrich lives by protecting, restoring and utilizing Nebraska's tree and forest resources.
For more information about tree-related efforts and awards, contact Jessica Kelling at 402-472-0220 or visit nfs.unl.edu .
Nebraska Forest Service