Free Park Friday

Minnesota Valley State Trail in Shakopee, which has been named a Tree City USA location by the Arbor Day Foundation.

For the 15th consecutive year, Shakopee has been named a Tree City USA location by the Arbor Day Foundation, celebrating the city’s commitment to environmental care.

Over 3,600 communities nationwide are recognized in this program, first founded by the Arbor Day Foundation in 1976 and run in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.

Shakopee was recognized for meeting the program’s four requirements: forming a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day.

“Tree City USA communities see the positive effects of an urban forest firsthand,” Dan Lambe, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation, said in a city press release. “The trees being planted and cared for by Shakopee are ensuring that generations to come will enjoy a better quality of life.”

These benefits, according to the foundation’s website, include trees helping absorb traffic sounds in urban areas by 40%, reducing energy costs up to 25%, mitigating impacts of climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and increasing home property values.

The city is celebrating Arbor Day and its Tree City USA recognition by holding its annual tree sale.

The sale is open to Shakopee residents, who can purchase up to two trees per household.

Online pre-order sales are taking place now through Friday, April 21, on the city’s activity registration page. Thirteen different trees, along with each one’s appearance and care descriptions, are on the website.

Pre-ordered trees can be picked up from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, at the Public Works building, 400 Gorman Street.

Arbor Day takes place this year on Friday, April 28.