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20 years of being a Tree City USA

Over the years, the city of Rosemount has given away more than 2,000 trees on Arbor Day. The trees serve as shade and decoration and help increase property values. They also improve air quality and help make Rosemount a more beautiful place to live.

To help promote the planting of trees the city participates in the Tree City USA program, which includes an annual Arbor Day celebration.

"This is a special year," said Dan Schultz, Rosemount Parks and Recreation director.

This is the 20th year the city will have participated in the program. During its April 17 meeting, the Rosemount City Council was presented an award for its 20 year involvement. The council proclaimed May 5 Arbor Day.

The city will host its annual Arbor Day celebration at 10 a.m. May 5 at Central Park. The event will include a brief program by mayor Bill Droste, and then the city will give away 180 trees to Rosemount residents. Schultz said the giveaways will include bare root autumn blaze maples, bur oaks and honey locust trees.

Residents who would like a tree should call Gopher One State, 651-454-0002, 72-hours before digging. Proof of residency is required. Trees should be planted within 24 hours of the event.

When the city first started hold Arbor Day celebrations, groups planted trees in the city parks. Over the years, Schultz said, they started giving away trees to residents.

Trees are a valuable resource not only to the city but also to its residents. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, trees provide energy savings by providing shade in the summer and blocking wind in the winter. Trees also reduce stormwater runoff and improve air quality. Furthermore, trees can reduce noise pollution.

For property owners, trees can increase property values. According to the DNR website resources indicate people are willing to pay 3 to 7 percent more for properties with ample tree sources.

The Arbor Day Foundation started in 1972 in honor of the 100th anniversary of the first Arbor Day. According to the foundation's website the organization gives away more than 10 million trees a year. The organization also recognizes more than 3,300 communities through the Tree City USA.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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