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Arbor Day Foundation recognizes Shawnee certification

Vicky O. Misa
A Yaupon Hollie was planted Monday at Larch-Miller Park, which is on east side of the 900 block along Broadway. Shown, from left, are City of Shawnee Director of Operations James Bryce; City of Shawnee Beautification Employee Jim Vanantwerp; and Tom Terry, Shawnee master gardener and beautification committee member.

Shawnee was recognized by the Oklahoma Forestry Services and the Oklahoma Community Forestry Council at the annual Arbor Week Kickoff Celebration for achieving national certification from the Arbor Day Foundation.

City of Shawnee Director of Operations James Bryce said Shawnee was among 38 communities, campuses and utility companies honored for accomplishing specific criteria related to planting and caring for trees and community forests in their communities and on campuses.

The event was recently held at Oklahoma City University. Oklahoma observes Arbor Week during the last full week of March each year.

“We are excited to celebrate these organizations that work so hard to improve the quality of life for residents of their communities and campuses.”Oklahoma Forestry Services Community Forester Mark Bays said. “We would like to encourage other groups to consider taking the challenge.”

Communities earn Tree City USA status by meeting core standards of sound community forestry management; maintaining a tree board; having a community tree ordinance and spending at minimum of two dollars per capita on community forestry activities and celebrating Arbor Week, Bryce said.

“Shawnee has achieved Tree City USA certification for 18 years,” he said.

For more information, visit the Arbor Day Foundation website at https://www.arborday.org/.