Dear Editor:

Great news. Mount Carroll is once again a Tree City. What does it take to become a Tree City? Is being a Tree City a "big deal"?

I can answer those questions. A community must meet the following criteria to earn this prestigious award:

Have a tree care ordinance; a Tree Board; an Arbor Day proclamation and observance ceremony; and spend at least $2 per capita annually ($3,400 for Mount Carroll) on a Community Forestry Program.

This year Arbor Day is Friday, April 26, and the City of Mount Carroll will host a tree planting ceremony. We have the honor of replacing a tree that has adorned the Carroll County Courthouse lawn for many years, but had to be removed recently.

Please join us at 4 p.m. Friday, April 26, on the courtyard square in downtown Mount Carroll to celebrate this special event, and bring the children.

As a Mount Carroll alderman, I would like to say I am proud to live in a town that takes pride in the distinction of being a Tree City where its residents enjoy the valuable benefits of having a greener, healthier community.

So, yes, this is a “Big Deal.” Hope to see you there.

Mike Risko

Mount Carroll