GASTONIA, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Take note, area tree lovers! Gastonia is up there when it comes to its tree celebration.

The city announced its designation as a 2022 Tree City USA this week. The Gaston town also got a growth award from the Arbor Day Foundation for “its commitment to planting, nurturing, and celebrating trees.”

The city honor has stuck with Gastonia for 21 years. Other area towns and cities include Albemarle, Belmont, Blowing Rock, Boone, Charlotte, Cramerton, Concord, Hickory, Marion, Mooresville, Newton, Salisbury, Statesville and Taylorsville. See the full list here.

The city met the program’s four essential requirements of maintaining a tree board or department, having a tree care ordinance, dedicating an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita, and hosting an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

Mayor Walker Reid applauded the city’s efforts in a press release.

“This recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation is important to our goal to continue our tree canopy across the City and to become a greener community,” Reid said.

Arbor Day Foundation chief executive Dan Lambe noted the city’s tree growth and program participation.

“The trees being planted and cared for by Gastonia are ensuring that generations to come will enjoy a better quality of life,” Lambe said. “Participation in this program brings residents together and creates a sense of civic pride, whether it’s through volunteer engagement or public education.”

Arbor Day is coming up and will be on April 28 this year.