The city of Farmington Hills was recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a 2020 Tree City USA community. Pictured are trees at the city’s Heritage Park.

The city of Farmington Hills was recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a 2020 Tree City USA community. Pictured are trees at the city’s Heritage Park.

Photo provided by the city of Farmington Hills


Farmington Hills honored as Tree City USA Community

By: Zachary Manning | Farmington Press | Published April 9, 2021

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FARMINGTON HILLS — The city of Farmington Hills was recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a 2020 Tree City USA community in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management.

Farmington Hills achieved Tree City USA status by meeting the program’s four requirements: The city was required to have a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, an annual community budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

This is not the first time the city has received this honor. Community Development Coordinator Charmaine Kettler-Schmult notes that Farmington Hills applies for the honor each year.

“It’s nice to have that confirmation each year that we’re maintaining our trees and keeping up with new installations and preserving that recognition as being a Tree City USA community,” Kettler-Schmult said.

There’s a lot that goes into being a Tree City USA community. With the help of Kettler-Schmult, the city’s Beautification Commission and members of the Department of Public Works — including Superintendent Kevin McCarthy and Road Maintenance Supervisor Bryan Pickworth — Farmington Hills has been able to maintain the aesthetic of the community, they said.

When it comes to maintaining the trees around the city, it is a full team effort, they said. Kettler-Schmult said she looks for new ideas on how to improve the quality of trees in the community, Pickworth and McCarthy play a role in trimming and removal of dead trees, and the Beautification Commission helps in cleaning up litter and debris around the city, among other things.

McCarthy believes a lot of people come to the city for the aesthetics trees augment.

“Heritage Park is right in the middle of our city. Huge park,” McCarthy said. “Any day you go there, whether it’s a weekday at 10 in the morning or 2 on a Saturday, it’s packed with people, and they’re all hiking. I think it’s just part of the nature of Farmington Hills.”

City officials are also working on ways to improve and uphold the standards of being a Tree City USA community, they said.

Outside of planting new trees and trimming existing ones, the city has events such as the native tree and shrub sale to diversify the kinds of trees within the city, among other things.

The plan in the future is to continue applying for the honor each year. For the city, the honor validates the forestry efforts it has put forth and gives the community another thing to hang its hat on.

“I think it’s really important to let the residents know that we’re serious about maintaining and trying to keep the tree ecosystem going,” Pickworth said.

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