Madison is one of 65 Indiana cities and towns recognized as a Tree City USA by the Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry for outstanding management of their urban forests.

"In 2012, Indiana's 65 Tree Cities planted more than 14,500 trees, removed 15,800 (some due to trees lost to the invasive Emerald Ash Borer), and pruned 45,357.

"These municipalities are to be commended for utilizing the urban forest as a tool to enhance economic development, environmental health, and quality of life in their community," said State Forester John Seifert.

The Tree City USA program has been in existence in Indiana since 1984, when Bloomington became the first Tree City in the state.

To achieve Tree City USA status, communities must draft and pass a public tree care ordinance, designate a municipal department and tree advisory committee, spend at least $2 per capita for the tree care program, and have an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

The communities will be formally recognized by DNR Forestry staff during April and May at Arbor Day ceremonies throughout the state. The National Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters sponsor the program, which now includes 3,447 Tree Cities nationally.