(League City holds the Gold Level Certification)
The Tree City USA program provides communities with a four-step framework to maintain and grow their tree cover. It also gives them an avenue to celebrate their work, showing residents, visitors, and the entire country that they’re committed to the mission of environmental change. Started in 1976, Tree City USA is one of the Arbor Day Foundation’s oldest programs. Our founders had a vision for a greener, healthier America, and hoped this initiative would inspire change on a nationwide level. The first Tree City USA group was comprised of 42 communities in 16 states. Today, the program includes more than 3,600 communities from all 50 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico.
A thriving urban forest offers many advantages to communities. Here are just a few:
(League City holds the Silver Level Certification)
Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB) is a non-profit organization dedicated to making Texas the best place to live, work, and play! Our mission is to inspire and empower Texans to make their communities clean and beautiful. We provide resources for community improvement projects, clean-ups, and youth engagement efforts across the state. Our Keep Texas Recycling program provides technical assistance, education, and access to markets to increase recycling in rural and underserved communities. Everything we do is focused on mobilizing volunteers to take action by providing them with tools, resources, and training. Our fieldwork includes research on best practices for litter reduction along with the development of community programs to prevent the flow of litter to the Gulf of Mexico. Founded in 1967, Keep Texas Beautiful’s work is driven by its network of affiliate members, communities, volunteers, and supporters that span the state, and reach 17 million Texans annually.
(League City holds the Silver Level Certification)
We plant trees and wildflowers, instead of billboards, to create scenic roads and improve public spaces. Scenic Texas was inspired by the visionary leadership of Texas’s former first lady Lady Bird Johnson. She began the scenic movement during her husband’s presidency and was instrumental in the Highway Beautification Act creation and passage. The First Lady’s vision was to make America the Beautiful a reality. She said in 1968 that “Beautification is far more than a matter of cosmetics. For me, it describes the whole effort to bring the natural world and the man-made world into harmony; to bring order, usefulness – delight – to our whole environment, and that of course only begins with trees and flowers and landscaping.” Scenic Texas is the only statewide 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of our state’s visual environment. We are the only state nonprofit that helps citizens safeguard the scenic qualities of Texas roadways, countryside, and communities.
(League City is an Active Member)
Mayors and other heads of local and tribal government are taking action to help save the Monarch butterfly, an iconic species whose Eastern populations have declined by 90% and Western populations by 99% in recent years. Through the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayor’s Monarch Pledge, U.S. cities, municipalities, and other communities are committed to creating habitat for the Monarch butterfly and pollinators, and to educate residents about how they can make a difference at home and in their community.
The Mayor’s Monarch Pledge program was launched in 2015 to engage cities and communities in Monarch and pollinator conservation. Between 2015 and 2020, the program welcomed over 600 mayors and heads of local and tribal government who engaged 6 million people and restored more than 6,500 acres of Monarch habitat. Since the Monarch’s migration spans the United States, Mexico, and Canada, the pledge expanded to these countries through new tri-national partnerships in 2017.
(League City is currently Certified)
When people hear the word “bee” they often think of a single bee species, the European honey bee (Apis mellifera). However, the United States is also home to just over 3,600 native (wild) bee species such as bumble bees, leafcutter bees, sweat bees, mason bees, longhorn bees, and mining bees. Native pollinators are particularly important because they evolved alongside native plants and in many cases are the most effective pollinators – and in a few cases, the only pollinators. Pollinators are keystone species in essentially every terrestrial ecosystem on earth, assisting in plant reproduction and supporting other species of wildlife. Pollinators touch our lives in numerous ways each day, including being responsible for approximately one-third of the food and drink we consume. The value of crop pollination has been estimated between $18 and $27 billion annually in the U.S. Research has shown significant declines in native pollinator population sizes and ranges globally. In fact, up to 40% of pollinator species on earth may be at risk of extinction in the coming years as a result of habitat loss, pesticide use, and climate change.
Thinking globally and acting locally, Bee City USA provides a framework for communities to come together to conserve native pollinators by providing them with healthy habitat that is rich in a variety of native plants, provides nest sites, and is protected from pesticides. As the name suggests, the focus of Bee City USA is bees, and primarily our native species. The steps that affiliates take to conserve our native bees, including creating safe habitats and hosting community events, will also help other pollinators including butterflies and moths as well as the non-native honey bee. One of the most impactful actions any affiliate can take is to encourage others to think beyond the honey bee and recognize the true diversity of bees that sustain our communities.
Joining the cities and campuses across the country rallying to protect pollinators is a great way to bring your community together to create positive change.