Sometimes, it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. For example, did you know that there are over 200,000 trees planted in Indy public spaces? They’re everywhere, but we may not always appreciate them. So today, we celebrate the trees. Partly because today is Arbor Day, but also because we’re excited to know that Indianapolis has been been named a 2015 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation.

To become a Tree City USA, a community has to meet four requirements:

Of course, trees make our city look better, but that is only the tip of the blue spruce. Despite their stationary facade, trees are engines of positive environmental - and economic - impact.

For every dollar spent on tree care and maintenance in Indianapolis, trees provide $6 in benefits. Those benefits extend to the bettering of air quality, carbon sequestration, erosion and stormwater runoff reduction, and city beautification.

The best part, though, is that in addition to the 200,000 publicly-owned trees already accounted for, more than 10,000 available planting spaces have been identified for future trees. That’s 10,000 more chances to clear the air.

So go ahead. Hug a tree today, and maybe plant one. They - and we - deserve it.

The Arbor Day Foundation is a million member nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information is available at