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Arbor Day Foundation Names Perry Tree City USA

March 14, 2018

Village of Perry earns Tree City USA from Arbor Day Foundation.

Perry, N.Y., was named a 2017 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management.

Perry achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements:a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

“Tree City USA communities see the impact an urban forest has in a community first hand,” said Dan Lambe, Arbor Day Foundation president. “Additionally, recognition brings residents together and creates a sense of community pride, whether it’s through volunteer engagement or public education.”

“Less than one in five municipalities have achieved this Tree City USA status,” said Dr. Dan Zerbe, Village of Perry Tree Board chairman. “As a tree board we are proud of what this designation says about our community.  Our village board and our residents recognize the magnificence of trees, especially street trees, and want to preserve and increase the number and variety of trees in our beautiful village for the future.”

Trees provide multiple benefits to a community when properly planted and maintained. They help to improve the visual appeal of a neighborhood, increase property values, reduce home cooling costs, remove air pollutants and provide wildlife habitat, among many other benefits.

The Village of Perry formed a tree board in November 2015. Since its formation, the board has taken multiple actions to enhance the village’s tree population. It developed the necessary documents, such as a local law and a tree master plan. That document aids in prioritizing the planting, maintenance and replacement of trees on village rights-of-way and public spaces. The board developed Tree Standards and Specifications that includes a comprehensive list of recommended trees. It has also reached out to residents asking them to request replacement trees where compromised ones have been removed.

The tree board received a New York State Urban Forestry Council Arbor Day Community Grant in 2016. With those funds the village purchased nine trees that tree board members planted in the village park. The tree board also applied for a NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Urban Forest Grant to conduct a comprehensive inventory of village trees and their conditions. The village did not receive that grant, so tree board members conducted their own “windshield tree survey” of all village streets.

In addition to Dr. Zerbe, Village of Perry Tree Board members are village employee Andrew Lowry, student representative Levi Hauser, Felisa McKay, Robin Redding, Lori Schofield, Steve Townes and village trustee Eleanor Jacobs. The board will plan a spring Arbor Day event to celebrate receiving the Tree City USA designation. To learn about that event and for more information about the Village of Perry Tree Board,  see the village website: Search for Tree Board.

More information on the Tree City USA program is available at

About the Arbor Day Foundation: The Arbor Day Foundation is a million-member nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees.

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