About Parks & Forestry

The Forestry Division of the Parks and Recreation Department is responsible for the care and maintenance of all City-owned trees located in parks, easements, and City rights-of-way. Other duties include snow plowing in the winter and other miscellaneous duties to assist in the maintenance of public green space.

Iowa City Parks and Recreation staff are committed to the health and well-being of Iowa City residents. As such, minimal vegetation control chemicals are used throughout the 1,800 acres of managed parks and natural areas. Turf areas and open green spaces are not routinely sprayed to control undesirable vegetation. Mechanical techniques (hand weeding, mowing/trimming, over-seeding, and mulching) and landscape design techniques (such as prairie-style and new perennial design) are used to reduce the need for vegetation control chemical use. Only after mechanical means have been considered will vegetation control chemicals be used to manage noxious weeds, vegetation that poses a safety risk, and invasive species. Special care will be taken to ensure the protection of park users including temporarily closing active use areas when chemicals are used.

Tree City, USA 
Tree City USA logo

The National Arbor Day Foundation's Tree City USA program is coordinated in Iowa by the DNR's Forestry Bureau with the goal of enhancing the benefits of trees in the local community. The Tree City USA program recognizes cities and towns that have provided an outstanding example for other communities by improving our forest resources and demonstrating the great value of trees in providing multiple benefits for future generations. Requirements for becoming a Tree City USA are:

  1. The city must employ either a city forester or an active tree board. 
  2. The city must have a tree ordinance. 
  3. The city must annually spend at least $2 per capita for its community forestry program. 
  4. The mayor must issue a proclamation naming a day as "Arbor Day."

Iowa City is proud to have been named a Tree City USA annually since 1979. Only one city in Iowa, Cedar Rapids, has been a recipient over a longer period of time than Iowa City.

More information on the Tree City USA program

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Questions? Please contact us at or 319-356-5100


2275 S. Gilbert Street
Iowa City, IA
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