Atlantic receives another “Tree City USA” award


April 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic recently received another “Tree City USA” Award. The event was held a couple of weeks ago. Dolly Bergman, a volunteer with Trees Forever,” told the Atlantic City Council during their meeting Wednesday evening, that the award recognizes the City for the work its employees and Trees Forever volunteers do, with regard to tree planting and care. Bergman said there are four standards the City must meet in order to qualify for the “Tree City USA” award: There must be a “Trees Board” – which in Atlantic, is the Trees Forever group, a tree care ordinance is in place, a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observation and proclamation.

Bergman says the hardest part is coming up with a budget to meet the $2 per capita requirement. She says if it wasn’t for money the Trees Forever spends in the community, “Atlantic wouldn’t make it,” because of what is in the budget for tree maintenance, new trees, on so on. According to Bergman, in 2012, between the Parks Department and Trees Forever, $15, 668 was spent on tree planting and maintenance, which when added with the $2 per capita for Atlantic’s population of 7,112, allowed the City to just barely qualify for the award.

A new Tree City USA flag will be placed in the City Park, to replace last year’s flag. Bergman says 2013 marks the 18th year Atlantic has become a Tree City USA community. Bergman said the City Council and residents should be proud of the award, which is usually presented on the first Tuesday of April, each year. She said in Iowa, there were only 89 communities that qualified for the award for the past year.

In other business, Atlantic Mayor Dave Jones announced the City has some new Police Reserve Officers. He said the volunteers were sworn in last week, and if residents see them on duty, they should offer a “Thank you,” for the service they provide. And, John Lund, Assistant to City Administrator Doug Harris, reported the restrooms at both the City and Sunnyside Parks are now open for the season. Lund said also, that letters will be sent out within the next few weeks to property owners, with regard to the City’s Minimum Maintenance Code, for those properties which are an eyesore and in need of sprucing up. The Code requires property owners to keep structures in reasonably good repair.