Blog Post By Jona Elwell

D.C. was minted a Tree Cities of the World

We’re proud to be one of the 59 cities worldwide to earn the distinction of Tree City of the World. Calendar year 2019 was the first year of eligibility in this worldwide initiative to recognize cities for their commitment to urban forestry management. 

The Tree Cities of the World program is a partnership of FAO and the Arbor Day Foundation that began in 2019. Its shared vision is to connect cities around the world in a new network dedicated to adopting the most successful approaches to managing urban trees and forests. Recognition through the Tree Cities of the World program represents the first step toward achieving a green vision for qualifying cities.

To earn this recognition, each city met five core standards for managing city trees and forests.

  • Establish Responsibility: The District Department of Transportation’s Urban Forestry Division keeps the District’s street canopy healthy, safe, and growing. We help too.
  • Set the Rules: The Tree Canopy Protection Amendment Act of 2016 and its original Urban Forestry Preservation Act of 2002 protect the valuable natural resource that is our urban tree canopy.
  • Know What You Have: D.C. has updated inventory or assessment of the local tree resource – you can see our freshly updated Tree Inventory and UFD’s street tree inventory.
  • Allocate the Resources: D.C. has a dedicated annual budget for the routine implementation of the tree management plan. You can see our asks and comment on it too!
  • Celebrate Achievements: DUH WE DO! And you can join in on the fun. Our annual flagship celebration of trees is bigger and better this year.

“We applaud all of the cities that have earned Tree City designation,” said Dan Lambe, president, Arbor Day Foundation. “They are leaders when it comes to planning and managing their urban forests. Many of the cities being recognized have gone above and beyond to use trees as part of their green infrastructure. This distinction is a celebration of their creativity and sustainability in creating healthier urban spaces.”

“We congratulate the first cities to be recognized for 2019, our inaugural year,” said Hiroto Mitsugi, assistant director general, FAO. “Together, these Tree Cities form a new global network of urban forestry leaders who share the same values for city trees and forests. We are proud to recognize these cities for their actions toward healthier, greener places to live.”

For more info and see how to get your city on the list, visit

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