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Oneida continues participation in Tree City USA program

Casey Pritchard
Staff writer
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Posted 5/5/23

For 33 years, Oneida has been dedicated to keeping its city green with a Tree City USA designation.

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Oneida continues participation in Tree City USA program


ONEIDA — For 33 years, Oneida has been dedicated to keeping its city green with a Tree City USA designation. And on Friday, Seneca Street Elementary students helped plant a new red maple at Allen Park on Broad Street.

Started in 1976, Tree City USA is one of the Arbor Day Foundation's oldest programs that encourages communities across the nation to commit to planting more trees. To become a Tree City, municipalities must maintain a tree board or department, have a community tree ordinance, spend at least $2 per capita on urban forestry, and celebrate Arbor Day.

Seneca Street Elementary students from Karyn Wells and Liz Murphy's fifth grade class joined the Oneida Department of Public Works and the Parks and Recreation Department and helped with the tree planting — but not before being quizzed by Parks and Recreation Director Luke Griff on the benefits of planting trees.

"If you have a lot of trees around your house, what do they do in the summer?" he asked the class.

One student spoke up and said that it helps keep you cool.

The program

Tree City USA lists the following advantages for urban forests:

  • Trees help absorb the sounds of traffic in urban areas by 40%.
  • Neighborhoods with trees are seven to nine degrees cooler than those without.
  • Trees reduce energy costs up to 25% by shading buildings and protecting them from winter winds.
  • Homes with trees have higher property values.
  • Green space plays a major role in improving mental and physical health.
  • Planting and maintaining trees absorbs carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, mitigating the effects of climate change.  

The importance of trees

Deputy Mayor Michelle Kinville read a proclamation, celebrating Arbor Day in the city of Oneida and recognizing the importance of trees in a community.

"Wherever trees are planted, they increase the property values, enhance the economic viability of business areas, and beautify our community," Kinville said. "I encouraged all residents to plant trees to promote the well-being of our environment and community for generations to come."

Oneida has more trees to plant in the future, as a few are coming down in Allen Park and others are waiting for an arborist to examine them before making a final decision. Come fall, Oneida plans to plant more trees to help replace some of the ones coming down.

"It's important to us that city residents have a nice place to go and enjoy the outdoors," Griff said. "And trees offer a lot to the city, so we're just trying to add to that."


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