Mayor Barbara Bass has received recognition for her Tree Tyler Initiative work.
The mayor was given the Champion of Trees Award at the Arbor Day Foundation’s 2014 National Awards Competition in Nebraska City, Neb.
The award goes to a government official or employee “for demonstrating leadership in advancing forestry public policy at a community, state or national level,” according to a news release.
“I think that it was an absolute perfect award for what the community has done in taking on the Tree Tyler initiative,” Mayor Bass said Monday.
When Mayor Bass announced the Tree Tyler Initiative in 2010, the goal was to plant 5,000 trees in five years.
An implementation strategy to plant particular species and number of trees each year was part of the plan, and the initiative included planting trees on public property, such as parks and right-of-ways, along with “a concerted effort to encourage citizens to plant trees on their own property as well.” The plantings were registered through www.TreeTyler.com .
“The Tree Tyler Initiative has become a major part of the city’s Tyler 1st … plan,” according to a news release. “Through this public process it became evident that the Tyler citizens recognize the importance and value of trees to this community, including environmental affects, an increase in property value and aesthetic impacts.”
The community was designated a Tree City USA and hired a full-time arborist in 2010, and as of Feb. 28, 2013, more than 5,500 trees had been planted in Tyler because of Mayor Bass’ efforts. Two citywide planting events have occurred, when more than 550 volunteers planted about 1,000 trees in Tyler’s parks, medians and along streets.