Parks Department Makes Trees a Priority

March 27, 2023

Richmond Parks and Recreation employees Nathan Davis and Laura Karnes recently graduated from the Tree Commission Academy (TCA). TCA is a program by the Ohio Division of Forestry that provides formal forestry education so communities can reap the rewards of having a strong tree canopy.  The information and skills they gained throughout the over 48 hours of classroom training will provide much needed knowledge and direction for city staff and tree program management. 

“The time spent in these classes was instrumental in helping me build upon my knowledge and I am excited to continue applying this in the field through my work with Parks and the Street Commission.”  Laura Karnes, Landscaping and Naturalist Leader

The City of Richmond was also awarded the Tree City USA designation from the Arbor Day Foundation. To receive the recognition, four standards must be met. The standards include: maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry, and celebrating Arbor Day. 

“We are proud to be nationally recognized for the hard work being invested into our community's tree program. We look forward to continuing the progress through our partnerships with our Street Department not only through our Annual Wood Weekend but also our Tree Inventory.”  Denise Retz, Park Superintendent

A $22,670 grant from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Grant was instrumental in the completion of the first phase of the Street and Park Tree Inventory. The inventory's main focus area was from the Gorge to Glen Miller and North A to South A Streets. The inventory helped to identify high-risk trees, maintenance needs, and available planting locations. The Tree Inventory is an important step in having a successful and sustainable tree program throughout the city. 

Another important step is having volunteers. This past fall Indiana American Water was able to help with that need through a grant for $2,000. Through a partnership with the Park, Infrastructure and Development, and Street Departments the funds were used to create the Tree Tenders Program. This volunteer program procured and planted 55 trees in the most vulnerable areas of the city.

“All of these benchmarks and designations are essential in the strides our city has made to recover from the devastation caused by the Emerald Ash Borer. We will continue to value reforestation and protecting our environment while looking for more partnerships to continue the momentum.” Dave Snow, Mayor of Richmond  

The City of Richmond will host the 2023 Arbor Day Celebration on April 29th at the Richmond Farmers Market at the Starr Gennett Building in the Gorge. It will be a fun filled day with a Proclamation from the Mayor at 10:00 a.m., tree giveaways, and special activities. Please join the City in celebrating the future and direction of Richmond's tree program.

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