Urban Forestry Recognition Programs

Virginia Department of Forestry appreciates every community effort to manage, sustain, and improve community tree canopy for the benefit of all Virginians. Several programs exist to formally recognize community efforts. All participants in the Tree Line USA, Tree Campus USA, and Tree City USA are recognized and awarded for their efforts annually.

Tree City USA Program

Tree City USA is an Arbor Day Foundation program that provides a framework for communities to manage and expand their tree canopy. The “Tree City” designation demonstrates that your community has committed to caring for its tree canopy. There are four core standards a community must have to qualify as a Tree City USA community:

  • Tree board or department
  • Tree care ordinance
  • Community forestry program with a budget greater than or equal to $2 per capita
  • Arbor Day observation and proclamation

Developing a tree ordinance is often one of the most difficult of the core standards for communities. You can visit Virginia’s Tree Ordinance Database to look at examples of municipal ordinances in Virginia that regulate the use, management, and conservation of trees in urbanized areas. These can potentially help you craft one unique to your community.

View a TreeCity USA summary of key facts provided by the Arbor Day Foundation.

Tree Line USA Program

The TreeLine USA program exists to recognize best practices in public and private utility arboriculture, demonstrating how trees and utilities can coexist for the benefit of communities and citizens. The Arbor Day Foundation collaborates with the National Association of State Foresters on this initiative. These state foresters bring expertise in balancing the demands of expanding utility needs in our communities alongside the benefits of providing adequate care for our urban forests. There are five core standards that must be met to qualify as a Tree Line USA:

  • Practice quality tree care using industry standards
  • Annual worker training
  • Tree planting and public education
  • Tree-based energy conservation program
  • Arbor Day celebration
  • Tree Campus Programs

Tree Campus USA

The Arbor Day Foundation offers three different programs recognizing K-12 school-grounds, higher education institutions, and healthcare facilities in their efforts caring for trees on their campuses. Standards for these programs and information on how to apply for recognition can be found on the Arbor Day Foundation website.

Learn more about the Tree Campus – Higher Education program.

Learn more about the Tree Campus – K-12 program.

Learn more about the Tree Campus – Healthcare program.

Additional Resources

Learn more about Tree City USA, TreeLine USA, and TreeCampus recognition in Virginia.

Contact Us

If you are interested in applying for a recognition program or for more information, e-mail us or use our contact form.