MOUNT VERNON, NY – May 3, 2019 — Recent weeks have seen neighboring cities to the east and west of Mount Vernon proudly announce another consecutive year of achieving “Tree City USA” designation from the Arbor Day Foundation. By embracing policies to properly manage and expand public trees, Yonkers and New Rochelle are among a number of local municipalities to be recognized for their efforts.
There was a time when Mount Vernon enjoyed the designation and residents and visitors alike were welcomed at each city gateway with signs proclaiming our “Tree City USA” status. However, poor leadership led to neglect of our city tree population. Wherever you travel within the city you’ll find tree wells that either have dead trees or are empty after a tree was cut down, never to be replaced.
“It’s time to once again embrace the community health and aesthetic benefits that derive from a healthy tree population,” said Mount Vernon Democratic mayoral candidate Clyde A. Isley. “As an avid gardener, I appreciate the value of trees, both public and private. Let’s Make Mount Vernon Tree City USA Again!”
Among the requirements to be considered for the designation is a local tree care ordinance that provides guidelines for care and management of a city’s tree population. Legislation for such an ordinance, created by a dedicated and concerned group of citizen advocates, has sat stalled in the City Council for the past five years. As Mayor, Isley would push for passage of the ordinance.
“In Mount Vernon there’s wide support for a tree ordinance that not only governs public tree management but also addresses the clear-cutting of private properties that permanently scars a neighborhood’s landscape,” added Isley. I commend the work of the Mount Vernonites who worked to develop the proposed legislation and commit to working with them and the City Council to pass it into law.”