We are continuing our celebration of our 45th year as a Tree City USA

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​This year, Salem is celebrating 45 years as a Tree City USA! To celebrate, we've planned several events for Salem's Tree lovers.

The first event, an art poster contest, has wrapped up. Now we are gearing up for the second event, a poetry or poe-"tree" contest. Winners will receive a prize package in each age category with expanded age groups – grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, and adult. So get in touch with your inner poet and submit your entry by August 31, 2021.

The theme for the celebration this year is "If I Were a Tree," and we are carrying this theme throughout all contests. This poetry contest is designed to bring out your inner tree-inspired wonder, appreciation of trees, and honor the important roles they play in our lives.

We are pleased that poems for this contest will be judged by two local Salem poets, Marilyn Johnston and Eleanor Berry. Marilyn will judge the elementary and middle school categories. She was the recipient of the Donna J. Stone National Literary Award for Poetry and author of Red Dust Rising and Before Igniting. Eleanor will judge the high school and adult categories. She was the past president of the Oregon Poetry Association and the National Federation of State Poetry Societies and author of Only So Far and two earlier books.

We're proud of our trees. Not only are they beautiful, but they provide many benefits to our community and the environment. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, reduce soil erosion, filter pollutants out of the air and water, and keep our streams, parks, sidewalks, and streets cool, just to name a few of those benefits.

Salem is a charter member of the Tree City USA Program that started in 1976, making Salem the oldest Tree City USA in Oregon. To be a Tree City USA, we must:

  • have a tree board or department,

  • have a tree care ordinance,

  • have a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita, and

  • observe Arbor Day annually.

We are committed to protecting, increasing, and enhancing our tree canopy.

Stay tuned for the last event of this celebration, a tree inspired trivia night, coming later this fall.

Download the poetry entry form here.

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Deborah ToppPublic Works Department
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