April 22, 2007,was Earth Day and Bowling Green was not only celebrating our planet, but an award for making the city a better place to live.
The city has once again been named a Tree City USA city by the National Arbor Day Foundation for its efforts in community forestry. Bowling Green is a town decorated with green leaves and brown trunks. It’s not by accident; it’s part of the city's bigger plan to keep Bowling Green the same color as its name.
"When you look at increasing the tree population, you're talking about clean air. You're talking about addressing pollution. You're talking about cooling the air," said Bowling Green Mayor Elaine Walker.
So for the eighth straight year the city has been named a Tree City for its efforts to be a greener city.
Bowling Green has the longest current streak of receiving this honor in the state. Walker said it takes a lot of work to be recognized like this annually.
"We have to commit to planting a certain number of trees. We have to commit to a certain amount of dollars per citizens toward urban forestry," Walker said.
Walker also said the title says a lot about not only the city's government but those who live and work in Bowling Green everyday.
"I think being part of a Tree City USA is that we recognize our environment and our quality of life," she said.
Several hundred thousand trees can be found throughout the city limits and Walker said the city's Tree Advisory Board is always looking for places to put more trees that may not only provide beautiful scenery, but could improve the lives of Bowling Green residents for years to come.
"You can't understand the value of that investment when you plant a tree in your neighborhood or when you plant a tree in your yard. Its something that generations to come will benefit from," she noted.
This is Bowling Green's 13th time receiving recognition as a Tree City USA recipient. The city also has developed a guide that tells people how to select, plant and care for trees. You can pick up a copy of this booklet at Bowling Green's City Hall.