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New Virginia Specialty License Plate Supports Community Trees

The Virginia Loves Trees license plate will support education, outreach, and partnerships to enhance Virginia's community trees.

by Lynn Davis

A new Virginia specialty license plate is available for pre-order. The Virginia Loves Trees license plate, featuring a community skyline enhanced by trees in eye-catching blues and greens, is designed to raise awareness of the value of community trees.

Supporting organizations include the urban forestry program in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment, Trees Virginia (the state’s Urban Forestry Council), the Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association, the Mid-Atlantic Chapter, International Society of Arboriculture and the Virginia Green Industry Council.

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles requires that 450 plates be pre-sold before it puts a proposed plate into production; the deadline for reaching that threshold for the Virginia Loves Trees plate is June 30, 2012. Once the minimum number of pre-orders is received, the plates will be made available at any Department of Motor Vehicles location. Plates can be pre-ordered online or by mail using forms at the Virginia Loves Trees website.

Susan Day, assistant professor of urban forestry at Virginia Tech, urges prospective buyers to order a plate as soon as possible: “Since the plates won’t go into production until 450 are ordered, the sooner those 450 founding plates are sold, the sooner the Department of Motor Vehicles can begin producing them.”

“The value of the plate isn’t just supporting community trees monetarily, but also showing other Virginians that you care about the trees in your neighborhood and community,” she added. “It raises people’s awareness of a valuable component of their community that many take for granted until it is gone.”

The Virginia Loves Trees plate is a revenue-sharing specialty plate, meaning that $15 of the $25 plate fee will go to the sponsoring organizations. Revenue sharing begins after the first 1,000 plates are sold. Proceeds will benefit the urban forestry program at Virginia Tech and Trees Virginia, which helped start and continues to be a strong supporter of Virginia Tech’s urban forestry program with student scholarships and funding for other student and community programs.

The Virginia Loves Trees plate was designed by a student graphic design group at Virginia Tech; a group of marketing students are developing a plan to promote the plate statewide.

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