Earth and Arbor Day Celebration

An Earth and Arbor Day Celebration was held at South Bend's Howard Park on Saturday.

The event was also to recognize South Bend's 17th year as a "Tree City."

During this celebration, 155 trees were given away as well as a South Bend Tree City Proclamation and also a tree planting.

There are regulations that the city has to meet to become a tree city according to City Forester Brent Thompson.

“The city spends $2 per capita. We had to have a tree ordinance that protects trees. We have to have a tree committee and we have to have our own ordinance," said Thompson.

Being a Tree City also comes with perks.

“It means when we apply for grants we have a better opportunity to get the grants awarded to us. It's a good promotion for the city of South Bend," Thompson added.

Director of South Bend's Office of Sustainability Therese Dorau said trees are important to the city and help improve the overall quality. 

“They absorb storm water. We definitely have storm water issues here in South Bend. They provide cooling; some studies have shown that they even increase safety in some neighborhoods. They make neighborhoods attractive and you want to live there,” Dorau said.

The Office of Sustainability has only been around for about a year now but they work closely with city offices to help improve the overall quality of life within the city.

“We want to be a great place to live. We want to have a flourishing economy but we also need to protect the environment because that is what allows us to live here in the first place,” added Dorau.

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