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Gresham gets tree grant, awards

Oregon Community Trees has awarded Gresham a $500 grant that the city used to fund an educational tree planting program at Hogan Cedar Elementary School on Wednesday, April 10, as part of Oregon Arbor Week.

The city also is using the money to purchasing tree tags for significant trees in Gresham and to buy Hogan Cedar trees — a unique form of Thugja plicata, a western red cedar that grows naturally only in the Gresham area — that students helped plant at Hogan Cedar Elementary School, said Tina Osterink, Gresham's natural resources planner. Another 108 Hogan Cedars will be planted at along the Gresham Saddle Butte Trail at 10 a.m. Friday, April 26, capping the city's Arbor Month activities.

It is the first time Oregon Community Trees has offered a grant to cities that have achieved the designation of Tree City USA. The grant was given to five cities, based on their grant applications and their plans for the funding.

Oregon Community Trees is an organization that promotes healthy urban and community forests through leadership, education, awareness and advocacy.

In addition to receiving the grant, Gresham is celebrating its fifth year as a Tree City USA — a program that is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation, in cooperation with the Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.

The Tree City USA program provides direction, technical assistance and national recognition for urban and community forestry programs nationwide. A total of 57 Oregon cities are being recognized as Tree City USA communities.

This December, the Arbor Day Foundation also honored Gresham with the city's first "Growth Award,” for the city demonstrating significant improvements to its tree program. Last year, the city partnered with the Rotary Club to build out a large portion of the newly created arboretum at the Gradin Community Sports Park.

The City Council approved a resolution recognizing the Hogan Cedar as the official city tree, which is not only rare for cities to do but is remarkable because the tree adopted grows naturally only in Gresham.

The city also has engaged local students in the official city tree designation by working with educators to add it to their curriculum, hosted a Hazard Tree Assessment Seminar for city employees and the larger community, and is adding seven new trees to its significant tree list.




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