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Laguna Beach among Tree City USA 2020 communities

The city of Laguna Beach was just named a Tree City USA community for the third year in a row.
The city of Laguna Beach was just named a Tree City USA community for the third year in a row. Here, a canopy of eucalyptus grow in the village area.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Laguna Beach has maintained its status as a Tree City USA community, as recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation, for the third year in a row, the city announced on Tuesday.

The city has now received the honor for the years 2018 to 2020, a distinction that is handed out to cities that satisfy several criteria. To qualify, cities must have a tree ordinance and maintain a board or department that handles tree care in the community. They must also spend a minimum of $2 per capita on urban forestry, as well as have an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

“Maintaining our Tree City USA status demonstrates that the city of Laguna Beach values our urban forest and recognizes the benefits that trees impart to all residents and visitors,” Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen said in a statement. “It affirms the city’s commitment to caring for the trees that line our streets, span our parks and constitute our open space.”

The U.S. Forest Service and the National Assn. of State Foresters are partners in the Tree City USA program, which has now seen more than 3,400 communities across the nation join the cause. The cities that have been recognized in the state of California for 2020 also include Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach and Newport Beach, Alana Tucker, the Tree City USA program manager for the Arbor Day Foundation, confirmed.

The city of Laguna Beach was just named a Tree City USA community for the third year in a row.
The city of Laguna Beach was just named a Tree City USA community for the third year in a row. Here, oak trees grow in the village area.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

A virtual ceremony will be held to commemorate Laguna Beach’s latest listing as a 2020 Tree City USA community. Residents can view the presentation and tree planting on the city’s Facebook page at 3 p.m. on Friday, April 30, which is National Arbor Day. It will take place at Top of the World Park.

Laguna Beach will also be starting an annual Arbor Day Youth Art Contest. This year’s theme is “What trees mean to me.”

Any student in the Laguna Beach Unified School District can enter using a variety of forms of expression. Students can produce a drawing, a painting, a picture or a poem on the subject, with entries not to exceed 8½-by-11 inches in size.

All entries should be turned in to the check-in area at Laguna Beach City Hall by April 26 to be considered. There will be a total of three winners, one for each level of the district’s school system — elementary, middle and high school.

“Arbor Day’s core message builds enthusiasm amongst young people to plant new trees,” Matthew Barker, the city arborist for Laguna Beach, said in an email. “Through the new Arbor Day Youth Art Contest, we hope to continue that momentum while also celebrating the creative and artistic talent of our local students.”

The city of Laguna Beach was just named a Tree City USA community for the third year in a row.
The city of Laguna Beach was just named a Tree City USA community for the third year in a row. Here, eucalyptus, palm and cypress trees grow in the village area.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

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