In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly declared that 21 March of each year is to be observed as the International Day of Forests.
This global celebration of forests provides a platform to raise awareness of the importance of all types of woodlands and trees, and celebrate the ways in which they sustain and protect us.
- Forests and trees store carbon, which helps mitigate the impacts of climate change in and around urban areas.
- Trees also improve the local climate, helping to save energy used for heating by 20-50 percent.
- Strategic placement of trees in urban areas can cool the air by up to 8 degrees Celsius, reducing air conditioning needs by 30 percent.
- Urban trees are excellent air filters, removing harmful pollutants in the air and fine particulates.
- Trees reduce noise pollution, as they shield homes from nearby roads and industrial areas.
- Local populations use the fruits, nuts, leaves and insects found in urban trees to produce food and medicines for use in the home, or as a source of income.
- Wood fuel sourced from urban trees and planted forests on the outskirts of cities provides renewable energy for cooking and heating, which reduces pressures on natural forests and our reliance on fossil fuels.
- Forests in and around urban areas help to filter and regulate water, contributing to high-quality freshwater supplies for hundreds of millions of people. Forests also protect watersheds and prevent flooding as they store water in their branches and soil.
- Well-managed forests and trees in and around cities provide habitats, food and protection for many plants and animals, helping to maintain and increase biodiversity.
- Forests in cities and surrounding areas generate tourism, create tens of thousands of jobs and encourage city beautification schemes, building dynamic, energetic and prosperous green economies.
- Urban green spaces, including forests, encourage active and healthy lifestyles, improve mental health, prevent disease, and provide a place for people to socialize.
2018 Arbor Day Community Grant Notice
The NYS Urban Forestry Council is pleased to announce available funding for small communities to have a 2018 Arbor Day tree planting event and to establish a community based forestry program. This funding has been provided by the USDA Forest Service and the NYS DEC Urban Forestry Program (and is not associated with the Arbor Day Foundation nor is part of the NYSDEC EPF community grants program).
Grants of up to $1,000 will be awarded to communities or non-profits (that work in partnership with communities) to celebrate Arbor Day 2018 by both planting a tree (or trees) … and forming a volunteer tree committee or tree board within the municipality. To be considered for a grant, please complete and return the application and requested documentation (PDF format) (Word format here).
Besides planting trees, the intent of this grant is to help promote and establish a meaningful community forestry program. Communities that are currently a Tree City USA or those that have any component of the Tree City USA program, such as a tree ordinance, tree board, tree inventory or management plan are ineligible. Previous NYS Arbor Day Community Grant recipients are also ineligible.
The Utica Police Department and the Central New York Conservancy have formed a partnership to ensure safety in Utica’s Olmsted parks.
“We are collaborating with the Central New York Conservancy to recruit and train volunteers who will help the Utica Police Department keep our parks safe,” said Edward Noonan, deputy chief of police.
“The Conservancy has completed a number of major projects to beautify and enhance Utica’s three main parks–FT Proctor, TR Proctor, and Roscoe Conkling Parks–as well as the Memorial Parkway,” continued Noonan. “We will work together so the community can use and enjoy the City’s wonderful park system.”
Please register for Time for Action: The President’s Budget for Urban & Community Forestry on Jul 12, 2017 12:00 PM CDT at:
It is no secret that these are tough times for Urban & Community Forestry at the Federal budget level. Join us for this webinar to learn what is really going on, and more importantly, how you can help get the message across that trees are important to communities. This one hour webinar will give you the tools you need to help tell the story of why urban and community forestry is critical to towns and cities across the United States.
Host: Dana Karcher, Alliance for Community Trees/Arbor Day Foundation
Speakers and Facilitators: Becky Turner, American Forests and Danielle Watson, Society of American Foresters
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Program Manager, Alliance for Community Trees
“We inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees.”