Perry is a ‘Tree City’ again

Village of Perry Tree Board members display the 2020 Tree City USA banner. From left, Daniel Zerbe, James Reynolds, Eleanor Jacobs, Village DPW Superintendent Steve Deaton, Robin Redding, Lori Schofield and Felisa McKacy.

PERRY — The village has again been named a Tree City USA honoree by the Arbor Day Foundation.

The 2020 award is in honor of Perry’s commitment to effective urban forest management. The village achieved Tree City recognition for the fourth year by meeting the program’s four requirements: a tree board, a tree ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

The community forestry program standards are designed so that communities of any size can have a viable tree management plan.

“Tree City status is not just for cities,” said Chairman Dan Zerbe of the village’s Tree Board in a news release.

“Few municipalities in our region qualify,” he continued. “In fact, Perry is the only community in Wyoming County to achieve this recognition. To change that and help other communities meet the standards, the village’s Tree Board has set a goal this year of visiting other communities in our region to share our experience gained over the last five years.”

Since its formation in late 2015, the Perry Tree Board has made huge strides in helping to manage the village’s existing trees and to add to the quantity and diversity of the tree population, according to the release. It has received two grants, including one which allowed for an arborist to conduct an inventory of trees and their conditions.

The information developed guides the village’s tree management plan.

Working closely with the village’s Department of Public Works, the Tree Board has overseen ordering trees to reach the goal of planting roughly 50 trees annually, spring and fall. Donations from community groups such as the Garden Club and Rotary supplement tree purchases by the village.

To engage younger community members, the Tree Board has collaborated with Perry Elementary School over the years to hold a “PoeTREE” contest and a poster contest. Poems submitted to this year’s PoeTREE contest will be displayed at community businesses this spring.

Community members are encouraged to participate in the Tree Board’s annual Arbor Day event. It will be a pruning workshop, planned for 10 a.m. June 5 at Memorial Park on Main Street.

The Tree Board also conducts workdays the first Saturday of most months. Participants meet at the Village Hall at 10 a.m. and prune, weed, and mulch newer planted community trees until noon.

“Tree City USA communities see the impact an urban forest has in a community first hand,” said Dan Lambe, Arbor Day Foundation president. “The trees being planted and cared for by Perry residents are ensuring that generations to come will enjoy a better quality of life.”

The Arbor Day Foundation recently launched the Time for Trees initiative to address these issues, with unprecedented goals of planning 100 million trees in forests and communities.

With Tree City USA recognition, Perry has demonstrated a commitment to effective urban forest management and doing its part of help address these challenges for Perry residents now and in the future, officials said.

To learn more about how to become a Tree City USA, contact the Village of Perry Office at (585) 237-2216 or email Zerbe at

Village of Perry Tree Board members include Zerbe, James Reynolds, Eleanor Jacobs, Steve Deaton (village DPW superintendent), Robin Redding, Lori Schofield, Felisa McKacy, Ralph Field and Karen Wyant.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1