Owen Sound earns title of Tree City of the World

Tree City Owen Sound

The City of Owen Sound has joined 14 other Canadian Cities with the title Tree City of the World. The Arbor Day Foundation and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations granted that status in recognition of Owen Sound’s dedication to growing and maintaining the best urban forestry practices.

To be certified, the City has met the program’s five core standards. The city must establish responsibility, set the rules, know their trees, allocate resources and celebrate achievements.

A media release said sustainability is a core value of the City’s Strategic Plan, with environment as a key pillar with the goal of protecting, preserving, maintaining, and enhancing Owen Sound’s natural heritage.

The purpose of this program is to promote the benefits of trees in the urban built environment, provide direction and assistance for developing urban forestry and tree planting programs, and offers certification and international recognition for sustainable urban forestry practices.

In 2021, seven Ontario Cities were successful in obtaining a Tree City of the World certification, including Cambridge, Guelph, Mississauga, Richmond Hill, Thunder Bay, Toronto, and York Region.

“Our community identity is closely entwined with our pristine natural environment. It is a major factor in attracting visitors and residents to Owen Sound. This certification is a great validation of our collective commitment to protecting, preserving and enjoying the natural beauty of this area,” said Mayor Ian Boddy.

The media release pointed out that the benefits of achieving the five core standards of the Tree Cities of the World certification include a framework for action, reduced energy costs, improved community conviviality, education with respect to the importance of sustainable tree management, improved community pride, and positive publicity.