KINGSTON — Kingston has been awarded the Tree City USA designation for the 18th consecutive year.
The designation was awarded by the National Arbor Day Foundation along with the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Vincent Cotrone, an urban forester with Penn State Extension, said the program is a national one that provides framework for community forestry management for cities and towns.
Communities receive the designation by meeting four core standards of urban forestry management. They are:
• Maintaining a tree board or department.
• Having a community tree ordinance.
• Spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry.
• Celebrating Arbor Day.
“Participating communities have demonstrated a commitment to caring for and managing their public trees,” Cotrone said. “Together, the more than 3,400 Tree City USA communities serve as home to more than 135 million Americans.”
There are 109 communities in Pennsylvania that are designated Tree City USA, with four of them in Luzerne County — Kingston, Forty Fort, West Wyoming and West Pittston.
Cotrone noted Kingston has a long history of planting and protecting trees along its streets. He provided a history detailing the Kingston Shade Tree Program. The program dates back to the 1920s, and its authority was defined in 1967.
“Lots of trees were planted after the 1972 flood,” Cotrone said. “Kingston’s tree-lined streets help make it a healthy, walkable and livable community. Those tree-lined streets also help by increasing property values and improve home sales.”