O'Fallon Progress

O'Fallon has been a Tree City USA for 20 years

O’Fallon Mayor Herb Roach.
O’Fallon Mayor Herb Roach.

Spring has sprung! Last weekend, we celebrated Earth Day, and on April 28, we will celebrate Arbor Day. In honor of these two events, our waste hauler, Waste Management, came to City Hall and taped a video about recycling. You can watch the video on YouTube or by linking to it through the city’s Facebook page.

Earth Day is now a global event each year, and we believe that more than 1 billion people in 192 countries now take part in what is the largest civic-focused day of action in the world.

This year, the Earth Day Network, the organization that leads Earth Day worldwide, focused on mobilizing the world to end plastic pollution, including creating support for a global effort to eliminate single-use plastics along with global regulation for the disposal of plastics.

The weather was not cooperative, but I hope that you got the chance to spend some time outdoors on Earth Day. I also hope that the weather will be better for the upcoming Arbor Day Celebration on April 28th.

The O’Fallon City Council and I recently issued a proclamation declaring April 28, 2018 as Arbor Day in the city of O’Fallon. Arbor Day is a special day set aside each year for the planting of trees. The city of O’Fallon maintains around 4,000 trees. And that number continues to grow. We continue to encourage tree planting by our residents and those building businesses in O’Fallon. In fact, our development code many times requires trees and landscaping to be planted at new developments.

Trees can reduce the erosion of our precious topsoil by wind and water, cut heating and cooling costs, moderate the temperature, clean the air, produce oxygen and provide habitat for wildlife. Trees are a renewable resource giving us paper, wood for homes, fuel for our fires and countless other wood products. Trees in our city increase property values, enhance the economic vitality of business areas and beautify our community.

The results of this promotion of tree planting has resulted in O’Fallon being named as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation for 20 consecutive years. This is a big honor.

The Tree City USA Program has been greening up cities and towns across America since 1976. It is a nationwide movement that provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees. The Tree City USA Program is an Arbor Day Foundation program in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, Urban and Community Forestry, and the National Association of State Foresters.

On a different note, I wanted to remind everyone that City Hall is currently undergoing renovations to improve security and function. Until the renovations are complete, all public meetings normally held at City Hall will be located at the O’Fallon Public Safety Facility, 285 N. Seven Hills Road.

All functions and services located at City Hall, other than the public meeting previously mentioned, will remain available during the construction. We apologize ahead of time for any inconvenience the renovations may cause.

As residents of O’Fallon, you should always be able to reach out to your elected officials and ask questions about what is happening in O’Fallon. Having open communications is important to me and something I care very deeply about. Thank you for reading, and please remember, my door is always open.