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Rocklin earns Tree City USA recognition

By: Lauren Weber, The Placer Herald
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Rocklin has grown to become a Tree City USA community. The city recently joined the ranks with thousands of other cities within the U.S. named a Tree City USA as part of the Arbor Day Foundation, recognizing cities for their commitment to community forestry. This is the first year Rocklin has received this recognition. In order for a city to become a Tree City USA, they must apply and meet certain qualifications within their community. Rocklin met four different standards, including having a tree board or department, an Arbor Day observance and proclamation, a tree-care ordinance and a community forestry program. One of the “key elements” that led to Rocklin’s recognition was last year’s Community Service Day, Director of Community Services and Facilities Mark Riemer said. That day contributed in two ways to the recognition – the city planted numerous trees in four of Rocklin’s parks and it was Rocklin’s Arbor Day event, Riemer said. “It’s all part of the effort to be green,” he said. Rocklin officials applied for the award in December 2008 and the application was reviewed and met the criteria of the California Department of Forestry. The department found that the city was making an effort to conserve and reduce greenhouse emissions, Riemer said. Becoming a Tree City USA is a big benefit for the city – simply to be recognized, as well as for the people within the community. The leaves on trees filter the air, removing dust and other particles, trees help communities conserve water and they provide wildlife habitat and trees can also assist with increasing property values, according to the Arbor Day Web site. “Trees are a vital component of the infrastructure in our cities and towns and they also provide environmental and economical benefits,” Arbor Day Foundation Chief Executive John Rosenow said in a news release. “Cities that are recognized with a Tree City USA designation go to great lengths to plant and care for the community forest.” Former mayor Brett Storey, PG&E and the State Forester’s Office submitted Rocklin’s application to become a Tree City USA. An award from the Arbor Day Foundation will be presented to the Rocklin City Council during an upcoming meeting. Contact Lauren Weber at laurenw@goldcountrymedia.com.