Tree City USA
Belle Plaine is a recognized Tree City USA city.
The Tree City USA program provides communities with a four-step framework to maintain and grow their tree cover. Tree City USA also gives cities an avenue to celebrate their work. Tree City USA is a program of the Arbor Day Foundation.
Urban tree cover provides several benefits to communities:
- Trees help absorb the sounds of traffic in urban areas by 40%.
- Neighborhoods with trees are seven to nine degrees cooler than those without.
- Trees reduce energy costs up to 25% by shading buildings and protecting them from winter winds.
- Homes with trees have higher property values.
- Green space plays a major role in improving mental and physical health.
- Planting and maintaining trees absorbs carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, mitigating the effects of climate change.
Belle Plaine Arbor Day
Each Spring the City Council proclaims "Arbor Day" in Belle Plaine. The event calls attention to the importance of the urban tree canopy and is commemorated by planting a tree. In 2022, Arbor Day was celebrated on Friday, April 29th.
How to enjoy trees on Arbor Day and year-round:
- Go for a Nature Hike. The City of Belle Plaine has over 13.5 miles of trails and 21.5 miles of city sidewalks. Most are lined with several varieties of trees.
- Organize a tree scavenger hunt to identify tree species.
- Go to the library and read about nature and/or trees.
- Have a picnic under your favorite tree.
- Start a pinecone or acorn collection.
- Go on a zip line tour through a tree canopy.
- Drive the Scenic Byway (a 'must drive' in the fall). Starting in Belle Plaine go North on Highway 25 and turn left on Highway 6. Drive this route all the way to Mankato or turn left in Blakeley to return back to Belle Plaine.