Arbor Day Foundation Talks About Portsmouth
Though strange times for Portsmouth, the good news continues to spread. The City announced Friday that City Council meetings are canceled indefinitely.
“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and at the recommendation of Governor DeWine’s recent decisions, Portsmouth City Council has chosen to cancel Monday, March 23, 2020’s meeting and all other Council and related meetings until further notice,” City Clerk Diana Ratliff announced. “This decision was not made lightly, but for the safety of our Government Leaders and the citizens of our community which is our number one concern.”
Still, a bit of positivity comes as the City gets national recognition. The Arbor Day Foundation has named Portsmouth a 2019 Tree City USA “in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management.”
In order to qualify for the recognition, Portsmouth had to meet four requirements. The City has to have a tree board, a tree care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget 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. “The trees being planted and cared for by Portsmouth are ensuring that generations to come will enjoy a better quality of life. Additionally, participation in this program brings residents together and creates a sense of civic pride, whether it’s through volunteer engagement or public education.”
According to the Arbor Day Foundation, dedication to trees is a dedication to community health, helping communities battle such issues with air quality, water resources, personal health and well-being, energy use and protection from extreme heat and flooding.
“With Tree City USA recognition, Portsmouth has demonstrated a commitment to effective urban forest management and doing its part to help address these challenges for Portsmouth residents now and in the future,” a statement from the Arbor Day Foundation stated.
In a recent proposal submitted to Portsmouth City Council, SCDN Wildlife Contributor Rich Scarberry pointed out that there are over 3,000 acres of uninhabited forest land within the city limits of Portsmouth. Once City Council is able to resume, we will work with members to plan for some economic development with this untouched acreage while preserving the integrity of the rustic lands.
The recognition comes at a time when there is no greater need for dedication to public health.