By Jessica Mathews /

Some local communities have again received a Tree City USA designation for their work in promoting and caring for trees.

The cities of Brighton, Howell, South Lyon, and the Villages of Dexter and Milford are among 124 Michigan communities, nine campuses, one healthcare institution, and one utility recognized with a Tree City, Tree Campus, Tree Campus Healthcare, or Tree Line USA designation. The Tree City USA programs promote proper care and management of community trees and call attention to the multiple benefits they provide.

The certifications are for work accomplished during 2020 and all recipients will receive their awards in April.

Michigan ranks eighth nationally in the number of communities with Tree City designations.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources Urban and Community Forestry Specialist Kevin Sayers says the program is about recognizing cities and towns that celebrate and care for their community trees and forests – adding it’s also about improving the quality of life for people who live in a Tree City community.

The program’s four standards were created so that communities of any size can achieve success. The standards that must be met each year are a city department or tree board, a public tree care ordinance, a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita, and a proclamation about and celebration of Arbor Day, which takes place April 30th this year.

Pictured: City of Howell.