On Earth Day, April 22, Parks and Urban Forestry director Dave Walker says it’s a “perfect time to start thinking about trees.”

Walker gave a presentation on Verona’s forestry program at the senior center on Monday in anticipation on Arbor Day on April 26.

With Earth Day, founded in 1972, focusing attention on the world’s ecological issues, Walker used the holiday to elaborate on the city’s forestry program. Around 20 people were in attendance for a brief talk about the history of the program, before Walker allowed for questions.

Attendees posed questions about trees around the city, learned about proper forestry techniques and expressed concerns about the prevalence of oak wilt and emerald ash borer beetles.

In 1994, the City of Verona established its urban forestry program and was recognized as Tree City USA the next year by the National Arbor Day Foundation. Every year since, the City of Verona has been given the award, a streak now 24 years long.

“It’s not a huge recognition, but it certainly got us on the map and makes people think about trees,” Walker said.

Walker also spoke about the city’s work in cutting down four to five trees a year before the start of the forestry program. The city coordinates around 50 or 60 tree removals annually, he said, but noted that it also plants 200 each year.

Walker ended the program by stating how “fortunate” he’s been to be involved with the city’s tree program.

“Hopefully a few years from now when I’m not around anymore, that legacy will continue,” he said.