Camden was named a Tree City USA for 2015 the 21st consecutive year — at a ceremony held in Orono during Maine's Arbor Week. In 1995, when Camden first earned the designation, the town was the eighth municipality in Maine to qualify. There are now 18 Maine municipalities qualifying as Tree Cities.

The awards were presented by Jan Ames Santerre, director of the state's Project Canopy urban forestry program, and Doug Denico, director of the Maine Forest Service. Santerre singled out Camden and the Camden Conservation Commission, which serves as Camden's Tree Board, as the state leader in developing a proactive strategy to identify the village's significant white ash trees and preparing Camden for the arrival of the Emerald Ash Borer, and invasive insect which has decimated ash populations in other parts of the nation.

Director Denico commended the Camden Heritage Trees & Treescapes Walking Tour brochure created by Nancy Caudle-Johnson, Camden's Arbor Day and Tree City USA coordinator. Accepting the award on behalf of Camden were Caudle-Johnson, and Camden Conservation Commission member Douglas N. Johnson. In 1995 Caudle-Johnson initiated annual Arbor Day celebrations and the Tree City USA program in Camden.

Posters were displayed for each Tree City. Camden's poster, designed by Caudle-Johnson, featured the saga of the succession of American elms on the Camden Amphitheatre lawn. Noted landscape architect Fletcher Steele's design for the Amphitheatre incorporated a mature American elm that predated the landscape, but in the 1970s it succumbed to Dutch elm disease as did nearly every other elm in Camden.

Nearly 25 years later, a  beautiful disease resistant "Princeton" American elm was planted in the same spot as part of the historic Amphitheatre's rehabilitation. It prospered until vandals stripped nearly all of its bark — the wound was dressed with artificial bark and it recovered. But the Nov. 2, 2014, devastating ice storm proved to be its undoing when the lovely young elm (circumference 35 inches, height 49 feet, spread 30 feet) a favorite of Camden Library Parks director Dave Jackson, was literally split apart.

In recognition of Dave Jackson's stewardship of the Amphitheatre's beautiful trees, the Camden Conservation Commission donated a new "Princeton" elm, and on May 23, 2015, as part of Camden's Arbor Day celebration, Commission members planted it in the same location. The poster is currently on display in the Camden Town Office window on Elm Street.

Tree City USA, a program of the Arbor Day Foundation, was developed to promote the planting and preservation of trees in urban environments nationwide. To qualify as a Tree City, a municipality must meet five criteria: establish a tree ordinance and tree board, expend at least $2 per capita per year on its tree program, and proclaim and celebrate Arbor Day. Municipalities must requalify for certification each year.