Commentary by Erin Murphy
The City of Westfield is celebrating 10 years of being a Tree City USA. This is a recognition given to communities from the Arbor Day Foundation. It is a badge that the Westfield administration wears proudly as residents and visitors can see from the many Tree City USA signs displayed at several locations throughout the community.
To be considered a Tree City, communities must follow four standards established by the Arbor Day Foundation. Step one: A community must have a department dedicated to the care taking of trees. Step two: There needs to be an existing tree care ordinance set forth by the city council. Step three: A specific budget is established to ensure the city trees will be cared for long term. Step four: An Arbor Day event must take place to honor and celebrate the community’s trees.
Westfield has embraced the long-term care of trees by establishing and implementing all of the standards for at least the last 10 years. The city is about to celebrate Westfield’s annual Arbor Day Seedling Giveaway when the Parks and Recreation department will be giving away 500 tree seedlings representing five different trees. This year, State Rep. Donna Schaibley donated 100 tree seedlings to the event.
The event is such a special time to honor what trees do for our community and our residents. Arbor Day Seedling Giveaway is at 9 a.m. April 22 at Asa Bales Park. It continues while supplies last. Pro tip: Get there early as the event runs out of seedlings within minutes.