Community forestry

Trees are the foundation for the “woodsy feeling” that characterizes Minnetonka. The value the community places on trees is reflected in the annual Arbor Day proclamation issued by the city council that states, “…trees are an increasingly vital resource in Minnetonka today, enriching our lives by creating beautiful landscapes to make our community more livable; serving as recreational settings; and providing habitat for wildlife of all kinds.”

The city of Minnetonka was first designated as a Tree City USA community in 1994 by The National Arbor Day Foundation, honoring the city’s commitment to community forestry. In order to receive this recognition, four standards must be met: an Arbor Day proclamation signed by the mayor and an Arbor Day observance, a tree board or staff forester, a tree ordinance, and at least $2 per resident spent on trees in city programs.

Meeting the Tree City USA designation is an important benchmark for a community forestry program. A community forest is more than just a group of trees—it acts as the city’s “green infrastructure,” providing tangible benefits to the city in the reduction of storm water runoff, energy savings, cleaner air, cooler temperatures, and higher property values. In fact, the USDA Forest Service has found that for every dollar we invest in proper care, trees are worth three times their investment.

A healthy community forest includes diverse species of trees, shrubs, and plants, along with soil organisms, birds, wildlife, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and decaying trees and plant material. Learn more about the community forestry initiatives by the city, and how you can become a steward of the woods and trees in your own yard.

Trees in Big Willow park.