Wilton and 18 other Connecticut municipalities received Tree City USA designation by the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) on Monday, April 14. Just 11 days before Arbor Day, April 25, the 19 communities each received Tree City USA designation for their "exemplary tree care and maintenance program," states a DEEP press release. Tree City USA is a national designation created by the Arbor Day Foundation as a means of honoring communities that\u00a0have "demonstrated a commitment to caring for and managing their public trees." According to the Arbor Day Foundation, there are more than 3,400 designated Tree City USA communities, and more than 135 million Americans live in a Tree City USA. In order to receive Tree City USA status, each community has to meet four core standards established by the Arbor Day Foundation: A tree board or department. A community tree ordinance. A community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita. An Arbor Day observance and proclamation. The University of Connecticut also earned the designation of being the state's first Tree Campus USA. DEEP Director of Forestry Chris Martin\u00a0said UConn and the 19 Connecticut communities "should be very proud of what they have accomplished." "The standards of Tree City and Tree Campus USA set a high bar," said Mr. Martin. "We are please that we have communities that have been able to demonstrate their strong commitment to urban trees and the improvement in the quality of life that trees bring." Formed in 2008 under the town's environmental affairs department, the Wilton Tree Committee focuses on "protecting, preserving and maintaining tree on public property," according to Wilton's town website. The committee sponsors a tree donation program where people can donate $325 for a flowering tree or $525 for a shade tree to be planted in Wilton Center or Merwin Meadows. According to Wilton's tree committee, Wilton has been designated a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation and state of Connecticut since 2009. Here is the full list of 2014 Connecticut Tree Cities USA: \u2022 Branford \u2022 Bridgeport \u2022 Brookfield \u2022 Danbury \u2022 East Hartford \u2022 Fairfield \u2022 Groton \u2022 Hartford \u2022 Middletown \u2022 Monroe \u2022 New Canaan \u2022 New Haven \u2022 Norwalk \u2022 Ridgefield \u2022 Southbury \u2022 Stamford \u2022 West Haven \u2022 Wethersfield \u2022 Wilton For more information on the Arbor Day Foundation's Tree City USA program, click here.