May 192011

By Naomi Hatch–

Snowflake has been recognized by the nonprofit Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA community for 12 years.

During the May 10 Snowflake Town Council meeting, Forest Service Arborist Ken Butler presented Snowflake Arborist Bruce Mighton with a plaque and sticker to add to the sign declaring Snowflake a Tree City USA community because of itscommitment to urban forestry.

The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service

“It’s ironic three cities close together are Tree Cities,” said Butler, referring to Pinetop/Lakeside, Show Low and Snowflake. “Trees are important,” he continued, noting that when you design parks they have trees and one of the first things a homeowner will do when purchasing a home is start planting trees.

The four standards that Snowflake met to become a Tree City USA community include having a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry program, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

Each year Mighton holds a program on Arbor Day. He gives information to attendees and then they plant trees. This year they planted 10 trees.

“We commend Snowflake’s elected officials, volunteers and its citizens for providing vital care for its urban forest,” said John Rosenow, chief executive and founder of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Trees provide numerous environmental, economical and health benefits to millions of people each day, and we applaud communities that make planting and caring for trees a top priority.”

Butler said that if people have questions about trees, they can contact him at the Forest Service office in Pinetop.

“In Snowflake we don’t have to call the Forest Service, we just have to call Bruce,” said Vice Mayor Kerry Ballard.

Mayor Kelly Willis thanked them for promoting this and said, “I hope you can all see the benefit of having trees. That’s what sets us apart from other cities.”


Photo by Naomi Hatch

Forest Service Arborist Ken Butler (left) presented Snowflake Town Arborist Bruce Mighton (right) with the town’s 12th Tree City USA plaque.