In recent years, the Town has made great strides in preserving and managing the community tree canopy.
These efforts included the Board of Commissioners appointing citizens to the Town’s newly established Tree Board; staff, in conjunction with the N.C. Forestry Service, completed an urban canopy inventory, which is a record of the condition, size, and height of the Town’s 1,174 trees in public areas; and Beaufort held its first Arbor Day celebration.
In recognition of these efforts, Beaufort was designated in 2013 as a Tree City USA for the first time, one of 70 communities in the state with this honor. Tree City USA is a national program sponsored by The Arbor Day Foundation and administered in the state by the N.C. Forest Service, according to ncforestservice.gov. The program provides direction, technical assistance, public education and national recognition for urban and community forestry programs in thousands of towns and cities across America. North Carolina currently has 70 Tree City USA communities.
Beaufort was named a 2015 Tree City USA.
To qualify for Tree City USA status, a town or city must meet four standards established by The National Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters. Standards are: a volunteer-based tree board, commission or city department with legal responsibility for the care of public trees; a municipal tree ordinance that designates the establishment of a tree board or department and gives this body the responsibility for developing and implementing a community forestry work plan; a Community Forestry Budget of at Least $2 Per Capita; and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation for which the community is to issue a mayoral or equivalent Arbor Day proclamation and sponsors or participates in an Arbor Day observance.
The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization that was founded in 1972. The Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with over one million members, supporters, and valued partners.