The Irondequoit Town Board unanimously passed a new law solidifying its commitment to Irondequoit large urban tree canopy.
The new legislation will allow the town to be designated as a Tree City USA community, a nationally recognized certification awarded to municipalities who take steps to maintain and improve the tree canopy within their borders.
“Our neighborhoods are one of our strongest assets in Irondequoit, and the robust tree canopy throughout Irondequoit is what sets us apart,” said Supervisor Dave Seeley. “As we continue to be challenged by invasive species, and thousands of trees nearing the end of their life cycle, I am happy that we have taken this step to affirm our dedication to maintaining this wonderful attribute.”
To qualify as a Tree City USA community, a town must meet four standards established by the Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters.
A tree board must be created to delegate who will perform necessary tree work throughout town, as well as assign who is responsible for decisions that impact our community trees. This task will fall upon the town’s Conservation Board.
A tree-care ordinance must be passed to set policy for the town tree maintenance and planting program.
A municipality must maintain a Forestry Program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita. The town meets this standard with the commitment to tree planting, trimming and maintenance in community right of way and public trees.
A community must celebrate Arbor Day with a town observance and proclamation to show the commitment of town officials to trees and to serve as an educational opportunity to the public.
A healthy canopy has numerous environmental benefits including the mitigation of stormwater runoff from impervious areas, lowering the impact of carbon monoxide and other tailpipe emissions from vehicles and reducing air temperatures in neighborhoods with trees overhead.
Trees lower the sunlight infiltration in the summer, protecting people from ultraviolet radiation as well as lowering the energy usage in homes typically by 15 percent. The commitment to a healthy tree canopy also encourages vehicles to travel at a safer speed, as well as protect pedestrians on sidewalks by providing a barrier between the driving lane and walking routes.