The city has historically been a tree city since the 1850s when lumber mills were built on the Rum River in Anoka during the heyday of logging from the Mississippi River up the Rum River to Mille Lacs Lake. From 1858 until the early 1900’s, the logs flowed endlessly. The township/city hired a wood inspector to monitor and inspect all the lumber the town produced, which we can assume helped build Minneapolis and St. Paul.
As the city grew in size and stature, city crews and its citizens planted hundreds of trees on its boulevards and in its parks. However, eventually, the city had to deal with the devastation of Dutch Elm disease from the later 1960s to the present.
Anoka has been very active in keeping and maintaining its urban forest and continues to emphasize tree planting, maintenance, disease control and proper arboricultural standards and management.
Because of City Council and resident concern for its urban forest and environment, Anoka is in its 39th year for receiving the Tree City U.S.A. award from the National Arbor Day Foundation in Lincoln, Nebraska. We are all very proud of this award which recognizes our city’s success.