City officials and civic groups will gather at the offices of Rome Dentistry on Dean Avenue at 12:30 p.m. to present the annual Arbor Day program as the city is recognized as a Tree City USA community for the 23rd year in a row.
Mary Hardin Thornton, executive director of Keep Rome-Floyd Beautiful, said the city’s commitment to providing green space in every place it can is something that should be commended.
“You look at downtown with the trees that we are constantly replacing, maintaining and trimming, and you see how much it enhances the experience of downtown,” Thornton said. “It sends the message that we care, and it’s beautiful.”
Rome has tree conservation built into its city ordinance. It also maintains a tree board citizen committee and a city-funded community forestry program along with its own city arborists.
“We’ve got an ongoing overall urban tree program and that’s just one of the components of why Arbor Day is important to the city,” said Brian Roberts, Rome-Floyd County environmental inspector and development services arborist.
Today’s event will also see Rome recognized as a Tree City USA Growth Award recipient for the sixth year in a row.
“This is the way the Arbor Day Foundation recognizes environment improvement and the ways we communicate new ideas to the community about tree care,” Thornton said.
Communities that earn the Growth Award for 10 years receive a special Sterling Tree City USA designation. City Arborist Terry Paige said all organizations that are involved in improving the look of the city have to work hard to get to that level. “It’s something few cities get, so we’re getting there,” Paige said. “It’s getting tougher and tougher each year, especially with the economy.”
Also at today’s program, recently planted trees will be dedicated to the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Rome Federated Garden Clubs, and the city of Rome.
A reception will follow in the Georgia Department of Transportation office behind Rome Dentistry.