The Shade Tree Commission was created in 1983 by city ordinance to help administer a community tree program for the care of trees on public property. Three residents of the city, who serve without compensation, are appointed by the Mayor and approved by City Council. The Commission also consists of the Public Works Director, the Chairman of the City Council Streets and Traffic Committee.
The City has received the nationally recognized Tree City USA award since 1995. The award is sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation and communities that enter the nationwide program must successfully complete the annual application and be recommended by State Foresters, who co-sponsor the program. To become a Tree City USA, a community must have a legal tree governing body, a community forestry program, a tree care ordinance and an Arbor Day observance.
The Street Department is a vital part of the community forestry program. During the year, the department takes care of leaf removal, leaf composting, Christmas tree recycling and maintenance on city right-of-ways, in addition to a volume of other duties.