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City of DeLand named Tree City USA for 30th consecutive year

(DeLand, FL) – The City of DeLand has been designated by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA for the 30th consecutive year.

April 17, 2018

(DeLand, FL) – The City of DeLand has been designated by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA for the 30th consecutive year.

The distinction recognizes communities that practice sound urban forestry management. To be a Tree City USA, cities 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.

According to the Arbor Day Foundation, there were more than 3,400 communities across the nation that are designated a Tree City USA including 179 municipalities in Florida. DeLand joins a select group of Florida cities that have maintained their Tree City USA status for 30 or more years.

DeLand’s link to trees began shortly after its founding in 1882. According to historical accounts, town officials in 1886 offered residents 50 cents off their taxes for each oak tree they planted that lived for a year. So many trees were planted that the city had to repeal the tax break the following year, but the trees lived on and many still line the city’s streets in its historic district.

Today, the city’s Public Works Department is responsible for maintaining roughly 4,000 trees in its nursery and more than 7,000 trees on city property. The city has partnered with the DeLand Breakfast Rotary Club for the past 20 years to provide free trees to residents. It is estimated that more than 20,000 trees have been distributed as a part of that program.

“We are proud of the city’s tree heritage and my hope is that our heritage will continue to be preserved well into the future,” said Mayor Bob Apgar. “I commend our Public Works crews for the hard work over the years to maintain our distinction as a Tree City USA.”

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