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Guide Programs in Partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation

In conjunction with the Arbor Day Foundation, the Department of Conservation and Recreation's Urban and Community Forestry program administers the annual Tree City USA , Tree Line USA and Tree Campus USA program to provides public attention and national recognition for local commitments to community trees and forests.

Table of Contents

Tree City USA

deadline is December 31

The DCR is responsible for reviewing Tree City USA applications from Massachusetts to ensure that the information is current, accurate, and complete. We then recommend applicants for the award to the National Arbor Day Foundation.

The Arbor Day Foundation now makes the entire application process available on-line. The DCR prefer that Cities and Towns use this on-line tool for the application process. However, if you need to fill out a paper application, below please find the DCR instructions for submitting the application and the additional documentation required.

For 2020 Applications: Please note that due to COVID-19, the Arbor Day Foundation has waived the Arbor Day celebration and proclamation requirement for 2020 applications. Communities are encouraged to find safe ways to celebrate Arbor Day, but will not be required to have an observance and proclamation for 2020. To facilitate the DCR’s processing of 2020 applications during the pandemic, we strongly encourage the use of the online application portal.

NOTE TO ONLINE APPLICANTS: The portal for submitting applications online was updated in 2019. Each community may be prompted to reset their password upon their first login. If your community has submitted its Tree City USA Application online before, please do not create a new account for your community. Instead, please follow the steps below to ‘find your community’ and reset your password:

  1. Visit the Tree City USA online application portal.
  2. Click on "Find Your Community." 
  3. Search for and select your community. (Please do not create a new community, unless this is the first year your community is applying for recognition.)
  4. If the Login Contact information and email are correct, click "Reset Login Password." (This will prompt an email with instructions on how to reset your password to be sent.)
  5. If the Login Contact information has changed, click "Change Login Contact Info" and follow prompts.

For both paper and online applications, please refer to the application instructions below for detailed information on the requirements for applications. Tree City USA and Growth Award applications can also be found at the Arbor Day web site.

Additional Resources for Tree City USA

Tree Line USA

Annual deadline is December 31

Tree Line USA recognizes public and private utilities for practices that “protect and enhance” the urban forest. There are five core standards that companies meet. The goals of Tree Line USA are to promote a safe, reliable electric service and healthy trees in utility service areas.

The annual deadline to apply is December 31. 

Tree Campus Higher Education

Annual deadline is December 31

The Tree Campus USA is now called Tree Campus Higher Education. This program recognizes college campuses for management of trees and for student and community involvement. Tree Campus Higher Education has five core standards that schools must meet to be eligible.

The annual deadline to apply is December 31.

Key Actions for Tree Campus Higher Education

Other recognition programs from the Arbor Day Foundation

Tree Campus K-12

Tree Campus K-12 inspires collaboration between schools, students, and communities to facilitate experiences with trees as a learning tool.

Tree Cities of the World

The Tree Cities of the World program is an international effort to recognize cities and towns committed to ensuring that their urban forests and trees are properly maintained, sustainably managed, and duly celebrated.

Tree Campus Healthcare

The Tree Campus Healthcare program recognizes health institutions that make a mission-aligned impact on community wellness through tree education, investment, and community engagement.

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