Completing the requirements for the coveted certification in the Tree City USA program, the national Arbor Day Foundation has bestowed Prosper with the designation, presenting the Town with its official street sign at the April 24 Town Council meeting.
“Our residents have a special relationship with the area’s natural surroundings,” says Dudley Raymond, Director of Parks and Recreation. “Prosper’s abundant trees and the unspoiled natural landscaping are revered and respected by our residents and visitors. We have deepened our commitment to nature over the years, ensuring that open spaces are populated by nature’s beauty.”
While the Town has grown exponentially in recent years, it has nevertheless striven to protect and preserve the natural urban forest that predates the arrival of people and the accompanying commercial activity. Parks staff and volunteers continue to cultivate those natural features with constant maintenance of the leafy canopy seen around Town. There are still many acres of natural settings dotting the Town’s footprint, in spite of the Town’s impressive growth track.
In addition to conservation efforts, the Arbor Day Foundation noted Prosper’s active adherence to the tenets of the Tree City USA designation. These include the program’s four requirements: a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
“Citizens continually tell us, in a variety of ways, how important trees and natural landscaping are to them,” added Raymond. “We take those comments very seriously and our staff does everything it can to ensure that trees are healthy and plentiful.”
Trees provide multiple benefits by helping 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.
The Tree City USA designation covers calendar year 2017.