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Community recognition programs

The Arbor Day Foundation operates several national recognition programs that are administered at the state level. In South Carolina, the Urban & Community Forestry program oversees the application and award process by providing information and assistance to applicants, reviewing and approving applications, submitting successful applications to ADF for final review, and distributing award materials from ADF.

Tree City USA

Hundreds of towns and cities across America are achieving public attention and national recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA. Communities of any population can qualify – from those with fewer than 100 residents to those with millions. Tree City USA recognition can make a strong contribution to your community’s pride. It can serve as a blueprint for planting and maintaining your community’s trees, and it will put you in touch with other communities and resources.
The Arbor Day Foundation presents a beautiful walnut-mounted plaque, a large Tree City USA flag, and special highway signs for community entrances to each Tree City USA.

Tree City USA Growth Award
Once a community has been a Tree City USA for one year, a community is eligible to apply for a Tree City USA Growth Award in its second consecutive year. The Tree City USA Growth Award is an opportunity to participate in activities that recognize environmental improvement and encourage higher levels of tree care and strengthen your community tree care programs.

Tree Campus USA

Colleges and universities across the Unites States can be recognized as a Tree Campus USA by meeting five standards developed to promote healthy trees and student involvement. The Tree Campus Higher Education USA program is a national program that supports effective tree management at two- and four-year accredited colleges and universities. The campuses achieve Tree Campus Higher Education status by meeting five core standards developed to promote healthy trees and student involvement: maintaining both a Campus Tree Advisory Committee and a service learning project for students, having both a campus tree care plan and a campus tree program with dedicated annual expenditure, and celebrating Arbor Day. 
Find out if your campus is already a Tree Campus USA.

Tree Line USA

The Tree Line USA program is a national program that promotes sound utility pruning practices by recognizing best practices in public and private utility arboriculture, demonstrating how trees and utilities can co-exist for the benefit of communities and citizens.  Utilities achieve Tree Line USA status by meeting 5 core standards that balance the demands of expanding utility needs alongside the benefits of providing adequate care for our urban forests: quality tree care, annual worker training, tree planting and public education, a tree-based energy conservation program and an Arbor Day Celebration.

For more information on any of these programs, including how your community can become a Tree City USA, contact SCFC Urban Forestry Coordinator Frances Waite at fwaite@scfc.gov.

Recognition Program FAQs