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:
- The city must employ either a city forester or an active tree board.
- The city must have a tree ordinance.
- The city must annually spend at least $2 per capita for its community forestry program.
- 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.