A rainy day did not dampen the excitement of the Cleveland Shade Tree Board as it celebrated Arbor Day Tuesday.
The ceremony was moved from the original outdoor location at the corner of Broad Street and Central Avenue to inside the Cleveland Police Center.
Urban Forester Dan Hartman said the two Bosque elms planned for the site had been planted earlier in the day.
Hartman presented the group with a new Tree City USA banner. This is the city’s 22nd consecutive year the city has earned the award.
“I think it is a great honor for our city. It shows we have the desire and the ability to keep the aesthetics of the city,” Hartman said.
He said it also demonstrates the city’s commitment to the environment.
“Without trees, we would be in trouble,” Hartman said.
Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland said the banner was given to Allan Jones to be displayed at the Craigmiles building.
“It’s the perfect place to fly the flag. Right in the middle of our downtown in the center of our city,” Rowland said.
Cleveland met the requirement for the award by having a tree board, a tree care ordinance, a forestry budget with funding of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance.
Joan Benjamin of the Shade Tree Board said serving on the tree board was “a passion” for her.
“It means a lot every year that we plant new trees. We take care of the trees we have. And, the city just becomes more beautiful because of it,” Benjamin said.
She said even as a youth she said she had an interest in trees and being able to identify the different types.
“I just grew up in a tree-loving family,” tree board member Amy Banks said.
She said having a tree in the neighborhood cut down made it feel like something was missing.
Banks said it was brother Allen Jones who first campaigned to save large trees in Cleveland.
The city has also been awarded a Cleveland Utilities Tree line award for 14 years.
Cleveland State Community College has been awarded Tree Campus again this year, also.
Rowland said the city has opportunities for individuals to donate trees in honor of someone and for the beautification of the city through the Cleveland/Bradley Greenway and in the proposed veterans park on 25th Street near Spring Creek.
The urban forester and his staff planted 158 trees last year.