You've driven past the sign a million times. I'm not sure how many of them there are in the city of Twin Falls, but I have seen the one next to the Motion Industries building on Addison Avenue East many times. Some people are processing the meaning of the sign incorrectly.

I was asked the other day why Twin Falls has identified as "Tree City USA" for the past 23 years. I'll admit, I didn't know the specific criteria that goes into a city receiving this designation, but I had a hunch it wasn't based on the number of trees within Twin Falls city limits. We do live in the desert after all.

Compared to places like Tampa and New York City, Twin Falls resembles more of a dust bowl than a sprawling, tree-laden metropolis. However, let's give credit where credit's due, and acknowledge those in the city that have been working toward goals like cleaner air and greener streets.

I lived and worked near the city of Sacramento for many years, and always chuckled when people would refer to it by its nickname, "City of Trees." Having spent a good deal of my life living within the Sierra Mountains and visiting family in the coastal Redwoods, I know when I'm surrounded by trees.

The meaning of this Twin Falls' sign isn't literal of course. It simply means Twin Falls has been identified by the Arbor Foundation as working toward a greener lifestyle. The program has been going on since 1976. There are over 3,600 cities across the United States that have one of these signs greeting motorists as they pass, resulting in close to one million trees planted since the program began.

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