Tree City USA

40-Year Tree City USA Community: Clay Center, Kansas

By Amber Filipi | July 15, 2016

Tree City USA is celebrating 40 years! The following guest post is part of a Tree City USA series that features the 16 communities that have been recognized all 40 years of the program.


Written By: Don Reed and Kerry Rozman

Clay Center Recognition_sm

2016 Tree City USA Recognition Ceremony

Trees, trees, trees, that is what you will find when you drive into Clay Center, Kansas. There are some of the most beautiful trees coming in many different shapes, sizes and colors.  That is the beauty of trees, no one tree is the same and no community compares to the beauty of Clay Center. The City of Clay Center is excited to be celebrating 40 years as a Tree City USA. Trees have always been a priority for our community as we pride ourselves as being “The City Beautiful” and what better way to express beauty than through nature and the gorgeous colors that trees display.

“Being a Tree City USA challenges our City to continue efforts to remain certified as a Tree City.”

Don Reed, was elected to the Council and appointed to the Tree Board in 1976. Consequently he has been in the community all 40 years of our recognition as a Tree City USA. Being a Tree City USA challenges our City to continue efforts to remain certified as a Tree City. Each City department must do their part in planting trees, trimming, and pruning trees and shrubs and removing dead trees in our community to accomplish this.

Our Tree Board has the responsibility “to study, investigate and develop and/or update annually a written plan for the care and preservation of trees and shrubs.” The Tree Board has had the opportunity to host a Tree Care Workshop in Clay Center, which proved to be very educational. Each year the Tree Board selects a location to plant a tree on Arbor Day with the Tree Board members of the community participating.

In 2006, a highlight for Mr. Reed was attending a conference at Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City, Nebraska. If you have not had the privilege of visiting this farm, he would highly encourage you to do so. You won’t be disappointed! Additionally, he was honored at the Kansas Forest Service Recognition for Tree City communities with the 2006 State Forester’s Award in Community Forest.

Clay Center has a number of parks, that are used year round for various types of activities, bringing in many people from different areas of the state as well as surrounding states. The trees have been carefully placed in each of these parks to enhance the attractiveness and use.

The Tree City USA program continues to be strong and thrive under the leadership of the Mayor, James Thatcher, and the dedicated Tree Board. Come to Clay Center and find out for yourself why we are known as “The City Beautiful” and see some of the most beautiful trees around.

Please enjoy the following photos of 40 years of Tree City USA in Clay Center, courtesy of the City of Clay Center and the Kansas Forest Service.

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