Oxford, ‘Tree City USA,’ celebrates Arbor Day April 30


Oxford Observer File Photo

This Bald Cypress tree is one of the many specimens on the Hefner Museum “Tree Walk.” It is located behind Miami’s Dorsey Hall, on the road leading to Marcum Conference Center.

Oxford will recognize Friday, April 30 as Arbor Day, commemorating the fact that the city has met the national Arbor Day Foundation’s requirement to be recognized as a “Tree City USA” for 25 consecutive years.

Arbor Day is a holiday that was first observed with the planting of more than one million trees in Nebraska. This day was proposed by J. Sterling Morton to the Nebraska Board of Agriculture to encourage a special day to be set aside for the planting of trees. 

Tree City USA is a program that has spearheaded a nationwide movement for communities around the country to manage and expand their public trees.

To achieve Tree City USA status, a community must meet four core standards: maintain a tree board or department; have a community tree ordinance; spend at least $2 per capita on urban forestry; and celebrate Arbor Day. Oxford City Council voted to recognize April 30 as Arbor Day this year, at the meeting on April 20. 

Miami University’s Hefner Museum of Natural History has a “Tree Walk” exhibit around the campus and Oxford that shows off outstanding specimens of an array of trees.

In a proclamation, Mayor Michael Smith urged all citizens to celebrate and support efforts to protect Oxford’s trees and woodlands. He also urged citizens to plant trees and to promote the wellbeing of this generation and future generations to come. 

Oxford has almost 4,000 trees planted in public spaces around the city.