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The Village of Park Forest received its 9th Tree City USA award in 2023. The Tree City USA program, awarded by the Arbor Day Foundation, provides communities with a four-step framework to maintain and grow their tree cover. It also gives them an avenue to celebrate their work, showing residents, visitors, and the entire country that they're committed to the mission of environmental change.
Recreation Park and Community Health Director Kevin Adams said these awards continue to show Park Forest is leading the way in more ways than one.
"These awards validate what our Parks Department is doing and continue to provide direction into how we care for our Urban Forestry. In the end, all of Park Forest wins," Adams said.
The Village also became a first-time recipient of the Growth Award. The Arbor Day Foundation presents the Tree City USA Growth Award to participating Tree City USA communities demonstrating higher levels of tree care and community engagement during the calendar year.
The Growth Award recognizes major milestones and annual activities in five categories that combine to build sustainable community forestry programs over the long term. Each activity has a value between 1 and 10 points. Communities must document activities that total at least 10 points from any subcategories to receive the Growth Award for the calendar year.
Urban Forestry is maintained by the Recreation, Parks and Community Health Department, and receiving these national awards signifies Park Forest's continued commitment to sustainability and the environmental impact that proper urban forestry management has on communities.