City of Hannibal recognized by Arbor Day Foundation as Tree City USA for 18th consecutive year.

Hannibal continues to be a tree-friendly community, according to the Arbor Day Foundation, which recently recognized America’s Hometown as a Tree City USA community for the 18th consecutive year. The honor was announced during the April 5 meeting of the Tree Board.

“It went by quickly,” said Ed Tamerius, a long-time member of the local Tree Board, regarding the nearly two decades.

Tree City USA is a national recognition program sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation which is administered in Missouri by the Department of Conservation (MDC).

Hannibal achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: have a Tree Board, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance.

According to the MDC website, 87 towns and cities throughout the state have earned the Tree City USA designation. Missouri cities having achieved Tree City USA certification range in population from 225 to 451,000 people. In addition to Hannibal, other northeast Missouri communities that have earned Tree City status are Kahoka, Kirksville and Mexico, which is the state’s longest-running active Tree City USA community at 38 years.

In September 2016 the MDC recognized the 40th anniversary of the national program.

In addition to the recognition program for communities, there is also one that honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and which engages staff and students in conservation goals. Hannibal-LaGrange University has earned the designation of Tree Campus USA for four consecutive years.

To achieve the Tree Campus USA title a college or university must meet five requirements: maintain a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicate annual expenditures for its campus tree program, stage an Arbor Day observance, and conduct a student service-learning project. There are 254 campuses across the U.S. that have earned the Tree Campus USA designation.

To celebrate its latest Tree Campus USA recognition, HLGU planted three trees in front of the Burt Administration Building on April 7, on the day the state observes Arbor Day.

The city will observe Arbor Day on Friday, April 28, which is National Arbor Day. This year’s tree planting will take place at Dulany Park, where an outdoor classroom is being created by the Parks and Recreation Department. Students from nearby schools will be invited to the event.

Reach reporter Danny Henley at danny.henley@courierpost.com