Above: Ficus trees line Second Street in Encinitas. File photo/Shana Thompson
ENCINITAS — The Arbor Day Foundation designated Encinitas as a Tree City USA for the eight consecutive year, city officials announced today.
The designation is awarded to cities that have a department dedicated to trees or urban forestry, an ordinance to protect and care for trees and an annual forestry budget of at least $2 per capita. Cities are also required to formally celebrate Arbor Day by observing the holiday and issuing a proclamation.
Encinitas currently spends $10 per capita on forestry, according to city officials. The city also has an Urban Forestry Advisory Committee to oversee tree preservation and health and to protect properties that may be
negatively affected by tree growth.
“We are truly proud to be a Tree City,” said Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear. “We understand the importance of optimizing our tree canopy cover and the future benefits from street trees as global warming
continues to impact our environment.”
Encinitas was one of several cities in San Diego County to receive the Tree City USA designation last year, joining San Diego, La Mesa, Oceanside, Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Coronado, El Cajon, Poway and Santee.
Sacramento and Burbank are tied for the most Tree City USA awards with 41.
The Arbor Day Foundation included 149 California cities in the Tree City USA program last year. The full list of cities in this year’s Tree City USA program is scheduled to be announced later this month.