Mayor Tom Henry was joined by youths from Crossroad Child and Family Services, Ron Caccamo from Old National Insurance, Carol Cavell from Trees Indiana, Parks & Recreation Director Al Moll and Manager of Forestry Operations Chad Tinkel and Geoff Paddock, Headwaters Park as they celebrated Arbor Day by planting a tree in Foster Park.
Mayor Henry announced that Fort Wayne has been named a "Tree City USA" for the 22nd year in a row. This designation—awarded by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters--was earned for the City of Fort Wayne's tree canopy stewardship and a continued commitment to a green city. Fort Wayne also earned a Growth Award from the National Arbor Day Foundation for a higher standard of forestry management of the City's 70,000 trees.
In addition to these yearly honors, the City of Fort Wayne was recognized as the "2011 Outstanding Government Entity in Promoting Principles of Urban Forestry" in Indiana and the Parks & Recreation Department received a state award for "Outstanding Municipality of the Year," for efforts in addressing the Emerald Ash Borer challenge.
"Our trees are a key asset that sets Fort Wayne apart. They are the enduring trademark that makes our community beautiful, desirable and more livable. A strong urban forest makes our City more attractive and competitive in our drive for good jobs and business investment," said Mayor Tom Henry.
A ceremonial oak and a tulip tree, Indiana's state tree, were planted in the Foster Park Playground to commemorate Foster Park's upcoming 100th anniversary celebration in July, and an engraved stone was placed in front of the tulip tree.
"This park is truly loved and appreciated by all, especially the neighbors," said Director Moll.