Cambridge, Ontario. (March 1st, 2021) – The City of Cambridge has been
recognized as a Tree City of the World by Tree Canada, The Arbor Day
Foundation, and the United Nations for its continued management of the
city’s urban forest.

Tree Cities of the World is a program founded by The Arbor Day
Foundation and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
Nations to recognize cities around the globe that have committed to
growing and maintaining their urban forest. Tree Cities of the World
aims to create more green spaces in urban areas by recognizing the
cities that do it well.

Through this recognition, Cambridge joins seven Ontario municipalities,
15 Canadian cities, and 120 cities from over 20 countries who recognize
the importance of trees in building healthy, resilient and happy cities.
The city has earned this recognition by meeting five core standards [1]
that demonstrates their dedication and determination towards planting
and conserving trees for a greener future. The city met these standards
through the creation of the Urban Forest Plan, current street tree and
other inventories, performance indicators and monitoring reports, tree
planting, tree policies and laws, annual budgets, and staff/capacity.

“We applaud all of the cities that have earned Tree Cities of the
World designation,” said Dan Lambe, president, Arbor Day Foundation.
“They are leaders when it comes to planning and managing their urban
forests. Many of the cities being recognised have gone above and beyond
to use trees as part of their green infrastructure. This distinction is
a celebration of their creativity and sustainability in creating
healthier urban spaces.”

As part of its Urban Forest Plan, the City’s canopy target is 30% and
this involves planting thousands of trees over the next 20 years. In
addition to the many health benefits, trees contribute to property
values, rainwater retention, cooling of the city/energy efficiency, and
carbon capture providing $3-$12 million each year in “ecosystem
services” to Cambridge.

“We are proud to receive this award and to be recognized for our
ongoing commitment to our urban forest,” said Yogesh Shah, Deputy City
Manager for the city’s infrastructure services department. “We
understand the important role trees play for a healthy and sustainable
community for all.”

The city provides a number of ways residents can get involved in their
urban forest, including volunteer tree planting [2] (now deferred to
2022 due to COVID), planting a subsidized tree on their property through
the Backyard Tree Program [3], or checking out their neighborhood and
property canopy as well as the type of street tree they have by going to
the Tree Canopy website [4].

Protecting the trees we have today and planting more trees bring many
benefits to Cambridge. In partnership with the Region and other area
municipalities, the city created a video [5] illustrating the many
health benefits of trees.

In April, staff will be providing an update to Council on the progress
of the city’s Urban Forest Plan.

Quick facts

  • Cambridge is divided into 38 neighbourhoods for the Urban Forest Plan / Canopy Assessment. Tree canopies range from 5%-9% in a new subdivision and central industrial area to 35-45% in older residential neighbourhoods with mature trees.
  • The City’s tree canopy dropped to 25% in 2018; this is down from 27% in 2013 due to losses from the Emerald Ash Borer and other influences.

Additional Resources

  • The City of Cambridge Urban Forest Plan 2015 – 2034 [6]
  • Learn more about the City of Cambridge Forestry Division [7]
  • Full listing [8] of cities who received the Tree Cities of the World recognition
  • About the Arbor Day Foundation: Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest non-profit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members, supporters, and valued partners. Since 1972, more than 400 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighbourhoods, communities, cities, and forests worldwide. Our vision is to help others understand and use trees to solve many of the global issues we face today, including air quality, water quality, climate change, deforestation, poverty, and hunger. As one of the world’s largest operating conservation foundations, the Arbor Day Foundation, through its members, partners, and programs, educates and engages stakeholders and communities worldwide to involve themselves in its mission of planting, nurturing, and celebrating trees. More information is available at

Curious about some of the advantages of trees? Check out this video about why shade matters:

Primary Media Contact

Allison Jones

Supervisor of Communications

City of Cambridge

Project Contact

Brian Geerts

Manager of Operations, Infrastructure Services

City of Cambridge

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