Cannon Beach is well-known for being dog-friendly, but it also wants to be known as tree-friendly. The city applied for a Tree City USA designation, which is expected to be awarded next spring. Tree City USA status is shared by 3,400 communities throughout the country and represents a commitment to core standards of urban forestry management, maintaining a tree board, a community tree ordinance and a $2 per capita commitment from residents. The designation will be celebrated Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the city’s community potluck and community grant awards.
Friends of Cannon Beach Trees approached City Manager Brant Kucera about the designation earlier this year, and after reviewing the criteria, he said he realized Cannon Beach met each requirement except the Arbor Day proclamation and observance. The city already has a street tree committee, a tree care ordinance and budgets $5,000 annually for street tree care.
Friends of Cannon Beach Trees member Jan Siebert-Wahrmund said the city’s Public Works Department, especially Kirk Anderson who oversees lawn work, does “a wonderful job” taking care of trees. The Friends of Cannon Beach and other volunteers will be contributing to that care.
“I think there’s a certain amount of esteem that comes with this designation, number one, but also it truly shows you’re putting something concrete behind urban forest health,” Kucera said.
Last month, the City Council agreed to incorporate observation into the city’s 12 Days of Earth.
Siebert-Wahrmund said the decision to go for Tree City USA designation solidifies the community’s “conscious commitment to care for our trees.”
Friends of Cannon Beach Trees filled out the application and expect to officially receive that designation in April, she added.
In Oregon, the Department of Forestry’s Urban and Community Forestry Program adminsters Tree City USA and provides guidance. Siebert-Wahrmund said they’ll be able to teach community members how to properly plant and care for trees.
“Tree education is the key component of this program and we’re excited about the many possibilities it offers,” she added.
During the 12 Days event, Friends of Cannon Beach Trees will be offering educational experiences for those of all ages, along with planting, pruning and protection.
Cannon Beach was a Tree City USA honoree in the past, but let that status lapse. To keep the designation, Siebert-Warhmund said, the city will have to demonstrate a commitment to trees by meeting the four criteria each year.
The potluck and community grant awards will be held Wednesday at the Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce Community Hall at the Lagoon Kiosk.