CHATHAM, NJ - Chatham Borough has been notified by the Arbor Day Foundation that it has earned the status of "Tree City USA" for its efforts in 2016.

Chatham Borough met the requirements to earn Tree City USA recognition by having a tree board or department (Chatham Borough Shade Tree Commission); a tree ordinance; an annual forestry budget of $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observance and a proclamation.

Chatham Borough also offers trees for planting - free of charge - to borough residents in an annual effort to replenish the tree canopy in town. The 2017 plantings are scheduled for this fall.

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"Tree City USA communities see the impact and urban forest has in a community first hand," Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation, said. "Additionally, recognition brings residents together and creates a sense of community pride, whether it's through volunteer engagement or public education."

The Arbor Day Foundation points out the many benefits of property planted and maintained trees, which increases the visual appeal of a neighborhood, Improves property value, can cut down on air conditioning costs, removes air pollutants, and provides a wildlife habitat.