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Sacramento urban forest makes Top 10 list

By Matt Weiser, Sacramento Bee

February 5, 2013

Sacramento's urban tree canopy has been named one of the 10 best urban forests in America.

The distinction was announced Tuesday by American Forests, a nonprofit group based in Washington, D.C. That city also made the group's list of 10 Best Urban Forests, along with Austin, Charlotte, Denver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York, Seattle and Portland.

The selections were based on an in depth survey funded by the U.S. Forest Service that included independent data gathering and a review by a blue-ribbon panel of forestry experts. Among other things, winners demonstrated a sustained investment in their urban forests, participation by local nonprofits and citizen.

In Sacramento, the investment includes a city forestry staff that plants and maintains trees along sidewalks, roads and in parks. The Sacramento Tree Foundation and Sacramento Municipal Utility District, plus a small army of citizen volunteers, also plant some 13,000 trees annually on private property, both to beautify the city and save energy by providing shade.

"Today's urban forest is the result of an early vision, and the leadership and stewardship of many people who realized the value and beauty trees bring to a community," Jerry Way, director of public works for the city of Sacramento, said in a statement.

Sacramento's commitment to its urban forest is so strong that it formally calls itself the "City of Trees." By some estimates it has more trees per capita than any major city in the world, including Paris.

For more information about the 10 Best Urban Forests, visit: http://bit.ly/14P4tYB.