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Madison Beautification and Tree Board observed Arbor Day by planting a Ruby Falls Weeping Redbud at City Hall. Participants were Amber Braman, from left, Carolyn Reagle, Levoneia Ayers, Steve Smith, Karen Lawler, Liz Smith, Michaelle Goforth, Karen Denzine and Katie Wiswall. PHOTO / Samantha Magnuson

Madison deemed Tree City USA, beautification board plants for Arbor Day

MADISON – The City of Madison again has received designation as Tree City USA.

In addition, Madison Beautification and Tree Board observed Arbor Day by planting trees at Madison City Hall on Feb.25.

Beautification board members and supporters are President Karen Lawler; Secretary-Treasurer Amber Braman; First Vice Chairman Mitzi Adams; Second Vice Chairman Chris Carpenter; volunteers Carolyn Reagle and Liz Smith, arborist; Cynthia Allen; Michaelle Goforth; Alex O’Leary; Levoneia Ayers, Madison representative to Tree City USA; Karen Denzine, City Council; and Steve Smith, City Administrator.

In addition, Katie Wiswall with Alabama Forestry Commission presented two commemorative street signs and a plaque to the city.

Madison has held the distinction as Tree City USA for 20 years by meeting four core standards: maintaining a Tree Board; adopting a tree ordinance; spending more than $2 per capita on urban forestry; and celebrating Arbor Day.

The board also conducts workshops to educate residents about the value and importance of sustainable tree management.

“As Madison continues to grow and attract new residents, Tree City USA shows that Madison is committed to trees, conservation and the environment,” Lawler said. “Trees reduce energy costs, help in erosion control (and) boost property value.”

“Trees and green spaces are places where people get out and connect with other community members,” Ayers said. “Madison takes great pride in Tree City USA recognition.”

In its outreach, the beautification board has replaced diseased trees, promoted Pride of Madison’s 39 volunteer groups that clean up ‘roadscapes’ and joined the non-profit Keep Alabama Beautiful.

In this year’s Arbor Day Poster Contest, fifth-grader Jason Roh of Columbia Elementary School earned third place in the state and visited for a day with Gov. Kay Ivey, Lawler said. The board has sponsored workshops for trees at Madison Public Library and invasive plants at Horizon Elementary School.

Before planting a tree, envision its height and width in 15 years, Smith said. “Then, look at the space that you want to plant it in. Is that area going to be sufficient?”

For North Alabama, Smith recommends red and sugar maples, water and post oaks, and, for flowering varieties, Kwanzaa cherries, dogwoods and fringe trees.

For more information, visit forestry.alabama.gov.

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