A sign recognizing the achievement will soon be placed at the entrance of the city at Interstate 75 and 25th Street.
“We are excited for the opportunity to share with everybody that we have been a Tree City USA for 20 years,” Shade Tree board member Amy Banks said.
The national program recognizes communities for commitment to urban forestry.
Cleveland has also received a Tree City USA Growth Award for demonstrating progress in its community forestry program.
The prestigious Growth Award honors environmental improvement and higher levels of tree care in Tree City USA communities.
Arborist John Thomason, the only remaining member of the original board, said Cleveland is one of about six cities in the state to maintain the designation 20 years in a row.
The program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation, in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service.
Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland said Cleveland has met the four standards to become a Tree City USA.
“A city must have a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry program with annual expenditures of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
“I commend our City Shade Tree Board and Urban Forester Dan Hartman. They work hard throughout the year to make sure we maintain this designation. It is through [Hartman’s] efforts we have been earning the Growth Award.
“When I took office in 1991, one of my goals was the Tree City USA designation. It is a great tribute to this entire community and the many individuals and people who came forward to make this happen.’’
Rowland said Allan Jones played a big part by writing the city’s Shade Tree Board Ordinance and working on no-topping-zone policies.
“He stepped forward at a time when we needed to focus on the environmental and economic impact of trees in our city as we revitalized our historical downtown and began our growth throughout the community,” he said.
John Rosenow, chief executive and founder of the Arbor Day Foundation, said, “Communities honored with the Tree City USA designation and Growth Award make a strong commitment to planting and caring for trees. We applaud their efforts. We commend elected officials, volunteers and citizens for providing needed care for the trees. They recognize trees provide numerous environmental, economic and health benefits each and every day.”
In addition to the city’s status as a Tree City USA, Cleveland Utilities earned the Treeline City USA designation, and Cleveland State Community College carries the Tree Campus USA honor.
Shade Tree Board President Jan Cheek said Cleveland will soon be the only city in the nation to have two college campuses with the status of Tree Campus USA, when Lee University earns that recognition.