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Thurmont recognized for green efforts

Danielle Ryan

(4/18) Thurmont was named a 2016 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management.

Thurmont achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the programís four requirements: a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least two dollars per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

"Tree City USA communities see the impact an urban forest has in a community first hand," said Dan Lambe, President of the Arbor Day Foundation. "Additionally, recognition brings residents together and creates a sense of community pride, whether itís through volunteer engagement or public education."

Trees provide multiple benefits to a community when properly planted and maintained. They help to improve the visual appeal of a neighborhood, increase property values, reduce home cooling costs, remove air pollutants and provide wildlife habitat, among many other benefits.

In honor of Arbor Day, Thurmontís Green Team welcomed volunteers to help plant fifty trees during the townís Arbor Day celebration. These fifty trees were planted in addition to the first planting that took place back in the fall when a dedicated group of volunteers stepped up to plant 25 trees throughout the Thurmont Community Park. These trees were planted in an effort to help offset the loss of trees that may occur due to the Emerald Ash Borer, which has been devastating Ash trees throughout the East Coast.

In addition to being named a Tree City USA, Thurmont also received the PLANT Award (People Loving And Nurturing Trees). This was the first year that Thurmont received the Green Plant Award, in the past they have received the bronze and silver awards.

The Green Award is for sustained programs that are organized and fully functional, and are funded and have full-time equivalent technical assistance. They have continuity, planning, support and a budget. This level of award is awarded to towns and cities that are recognized as Tree City USA and Colleges and Universities that are recognized as Tree Campus USA.

Thurmont will continue its green initiatives and hopefully continue being recognized for its efforts to help make the town a greener place.

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