Boca Raton, FL – The City of Boca Raton has been recognized as a Tree City USA for the 42nd consecutive year by the National Arbor Day Foundation, which promotes the benefit trees bring to urban environments. Mayor Scott Singer, Sustainability Manager Lindsey Roland Nieratka, Senior Environmental Officer Greg Polidora, and Recreation Services Director Michael Kalvort accepted the award on behalf of the City.
Started in 1976, the Tree City USA program provides communities with a four-step framework to maintain and grow their tree cover and has since recognized more than 3,600 communities from across the county.
As part of the recognition, the City also received Tree City USA’s Growth Award, which is presented to those communities that demonstrate higher levels of tree care and community engagement during the calendar year. A 2021 Tree Canopy Assessment and the City’s popular tree giveaway program for residents, helped earn the additional distinction.
The City’s strong commitment to its tree canopy began in 1965, when it was the first city in the U.S. to adopt a tree protection ordinance – 11 years prior to the creation of the Tree City USA program. The Assessment found the City’s tree canopy at a healthy 26.5% with potential to increase to 28% over the next 20 years.
“Boca Raton celebrates trees every day,” says Dawn Sinka, the City’s Horticulturalist/Arborist. “On our 42nd year as a Tree City, look around at our trees, touch them, or sit in the shade. Better yet, join in the movement to plant trees either yourself or to donate to an organization that will plant a tree or two in an area recently impacted by wildfires or floods. Not every city can be Boca Raton, but everyone benefits from trees.”
Qualification for the Tree City USA designation requires Boca Raton to have a current tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, a community forestry program with a minimum annual budget, and an annual Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
For more information, please visit the City’s Tree Canopy webpage.