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Community Trees

The USCM staff has established a close working relationship with mayors which allows for the development of major community tree initiatives at the local and national level. Sacramento Mayor Heather Fargo and Palantine (IL) Mayor Rita l Mullins serve as the Co-Chairs of the Community Trees Taskforce. USCM staff responds to the Mayor's urban forest priorities by exploring ways to improve their communities through trees. Staff members share information about federal and private programs available to assist mayors with their local community tree initiatives.

Why Trees?
When you think of a forest, do you think of a city? Most people, in fact 80% of our nation's population, live in urban areas. And a significant portion of our trees, 25% of our nation's tree canopy, are in parks, along streets and in our backyards. Protecting and planting trees are important ways to improve the quality of life for the majority of people who are residents of our cities. Trees are an untapped resource that can be used to help cities deal with the pollution of our air and water, cool our city streets, reduce crime, reduce asthma and improve our overall health. 
Trees aren't just nice things to have, but have the power to increase sales, increase property values, lower utility costs and lower incidents of crime. Click here to learn more.


The Conference's Excellence for Community Trees Awards, sponsored by The Home Depot Foundation, honors mayors and their partnerships with nonprofits to enhance and strengthen communities through the strategic use of trees. Awards are given annually to four mayors and the nonprofits. Awards are distributed in two population categories-cities with fewer than 100,000 people and cities with a population of 100,000 or more. Within each category two grant awards will be made-first place award of $75,000 is presented to the winning project and $25,000 to the runner-up.

The Home Depot Foundation was created in 2002 to further the community building goals of The Home Depot.  The Home Depot Foundation is dedicated to building homes for working families that are healthy to live in and affordable to own. Since its formation, The Home Depot Foundation has granted $70 million to nonprofit organizations and supported the development of more than 50,000 affordable, healthy homes. The Home Depot Foundation believes that the urban forest is one of the essential building blocks for healthy, livable communities impacting our social, economic and overall well being. In addition, we strongly believe that the simple act of planting a tree has the power to be the catalyst for profound community change.

For more information click here.


      2008 First Place Large City Winner - Sacramento /Small City Winner - Camden, NJ


      2007  First Place Large City Winner - Philadelphia /Small City Winner - Wilmington, DE

  • 2007 Award Recipients  Press Release
  • Excellence in Community Trees Award Presentation Video


Davenport Mayor Ed Winborn and Keith Majors of Greenway Habitat accept small City Runner-Up Award from Long Beach Mayor Beverly O'Neill, Conference Executive Director Tom Cochran, and Kelly Caffarelli, Executive Director, Home Depot Foundation.

      2006  First Place Large City Winner - Baltimore /Small City Winner - Wilmington, DE

Case Studies

  • Philadelphia
  • Albuquerque
  • Wilmington, DE
  • Orland Park, IL

    Mayors In The News

    Community Trees Task Force

    10-City Arbor Day Campaign

    These tree-planting events are part of the National Arbor Day Foundation's 10-city campaign sponsored by The Home Depot Foundation to promote and demonstrate the benefits of community trees. Local school children, businesses and conservation organizations will plant 100 large trees in 10 cities across the country, drawing attention to the benefits of community trees and creating greener, healthier communities in metropolitan areas.


    Stronger, Healthier Cities through Trees: A Resource Guide

  • Part I
  • Part II
  • Part III

    The National Arbor Day Foundation is a million-member, nonprofit educational organization dedicated to tree planting and environmental stewardship. For more information on the Foundation, visit or call (402) 474-5655.

    The Alliance for Community Trees is a grassroots, citizen-based nonprofit organization dedicated to urban and community tree planting, care, conservation, and education. For more information on the Alliance, visit or call (301) 220-2251.

    Publication: Trees: A Prospectus

    The Home Depot Foundation is dedicated to creating healthy, livable communities thorugh the integration of affordable housing, built responsibly and community trees. For more information, go to

    Urban Forest Research Newsletter (Summer 2006)

  • For information about the Community Trees Program please contact:

    Jocelyn Bogen
    U.S. Conference of Mayors
    1620 I St., NW, 4th Floor
    Washington, DC 20006
    (202) 293-7330 (w)
    (202) 293-2352 (f)