Tree City USA

Thursday was proclaimed Arbor Day in Jamestown, and Mother Nature cooperated with warmer temperatures.

Nationally Arbor Day was April 25, but city officials gathered at the Fenton History Museum, 67 Washington St., to celebrate the tree-planting holiday Thursday. Dan Stone, city arborist, said the beautiful May weather was one advantage for the city to wait to celebrate Arbor Day. He selected the Fenton mansion as the spot for the tree-planting ceremony because he said the property has two of the largest sycamore trees in the city. Also, the property contains beautiful red oak and maple trees.

“This is an amazing piece of property we have here in Jamestown,” he said.

The tree planted by city officials was a flowering cherry tree. The tree-planting celebration was the 33rd consecutive year for the program, which includes Jamestown in the Tree City USA Community program as designated by the National Arbor Day Foundation. Stone said Jamestown is the second longest-running city in New York to be honored with the designation. This year the city also received their fifth Tree City USA Growth Award for demonstrating progress in its community forestry program. The award honors environmental improvement and higher levels of tree care in Tree City USA communities.

Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi said the program was started by former city parks employee Russell Diethrick Jr. in 1981. More than 13,000 city-owned trees now line city streets. That total does not included trees in city parks. Trees promote healthier communities. The leaves filter the air by removing dust and other particles. Trees moderate climate, conserve water and provide habitat for wildlife. Trees in urban areas reduce the heat island effect caused by pavement and buildings.

“This is not an insufficient honor the city of Jamestown has received for 33 years,” Teresi said.

The mayor said there are two ways people can make tax-deductible donations toward the city’s urban forestry fund. One way is through the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, www.crcfonline.org., and the second way is through the city comptroller’s office, www.jamestownny.net.

“This is truly a community effort,” Teresi said about Jamestown’s urban forest.