Friday, May 28, 2010

Forestry awards recognize Oregonians committed to community tree care

Ambitious tree planting efforts and innovative approaches to community development are among the success stories that will be recognized at this year’s Urban and Community Forestry conference.

Now in their 17th year, the awards, jointly hosted by Oregon Community Trees (OCT) and the Oregon Department of Forestry, recognize the accomplishments of individuals, groups, and businesses who go the extra mile to enhance and maintain healthy community forests.

This year’s recipients are slated to be recognized at the annual Oregon Urban and Community Forestry Conference Thursday June 3rd, at the Oregon Garden Resort in Silverton. State Senator Richard Devlin will present two of the awards.

Award categories and recipients

Citizen Volunteer and Civic Organization: Roberta Schwarz and the White Oak Committee
Roberta Schwarz of West Linn is being recognized in the volunteer category for her work with the White Oak Committee over four years, raising over a million dollars to purchase and preserve part of a rare Oregon white oak savanna property ripe for development. The committee itself is also being honored as an award recipient in the ‘Civic Organization’ category. Senator Richard Devlin and Representative Scott Brunn both sent letters of nomination and support for this project.

Professional: Nancy Buley
Nancy Buley, Marketing and Communications Director for J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co., one of Oregon’s, and the nation’s premier nurseries, will be honored with a Professional category award for her years of tireless advocacy for trees. She recently completed a visit to all of Oregon’s congressional and senate offices in Washington, D.C., lobbying for tree planting legislation with the Alliance for Community Trees and Portland’s Friends of Trees.

Development: Pringle Creek Community, Salem
The Pringle Creek Community of Salem is recipient of an urban forestry award in the Development category. The community successfully preserved more than eighty percent of the site’s existing trees during development. The community is being recognized for its innovative approaches to trees, landscaping, and homebuilding. James Santana, Director of Development, will accept the award.

Government: Clean Water Services – Randy Lawrence
Randy Lawrence and Clean Water Services earned an urban forestry award in the government category for their strong track record in tree planting in the Tualatin River Watershed. Lawrence’s “Tree for All” program set an unusual goal to plant 2 million trees in 20 years in the Tualatin River watershed, and they are currently ahead of schedule.

President’s Award: Ed Jensen
Ed Jensen, who serves as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Oregon State University’s College of Forestry, is receiving the President’s Award for his long record of accomplishment in the fields of education, outreach, and advocacy. Jensen advises and educates students, and is a co-author of the popular color-illustrated handbook “Trees to Know in Oregon.” Jensen also develops, conducts, and evaluates natural resource education programs for various audiences at the college. Oregon State University dean Hal Salwasser calls Jensen “an exceptional teacher and mentor who makes trees the focus of his talents.”

Professional category: Jennifer Wilson and the Wetlands Conservancy
Jennifer Wilson of Tualatin is the recipient of a 2010 Oregon Urban and Community Forestry award in the professional category. The Wetlands Conservancy planted more than 10,000 bare root native wetland species, shrubs, and plants – as well as 5,000 willow and dogwood cuttings this past spring. “Jennifer has a passion for opening the eyes of children to the natural world around them,” adds Rick Zenn, president of Oregon Community Trees.

Business category: Ascending the Giants
Ascending the Giants is an ongoing series of expeditions led by two arborists, Brian French and Will Koomjian, to measure the largest tree of each species. The team is able to capture some of the first and only footage inside the canopies of these remarkable trees. For its cutting edge photographic and video work at sharing the stories of the ecological importance of champion trees, Ascending the Giants will receive OCT’s Business category award.

Oregon Tree City of the Year: McMinnville
OCT’s efforts to advocate for planting and caring for trees in the state extends to wanting to give special recognition to those cities who take extra steps to assure trees are planted, protected and maintained in their communities.

McMinnville, host of OCT’s March quarterly board meeting, is the 2010 winner of the Oregon Tree City of the Year award. Mayor Rick Olson and Planning Director Doug Montgomery both work hard to assure that this historic community keeps its charm and attractive livability by caring for its tree resources.

Better communities through tree care

“Oregon Citizens are indeed fortunate to have such an effective group of citizens leading the way to improved lives and better communities through tree planting and care,” says OCT President Rick Zenn.

"These recipients are to be commended for their efforts to improve the livability of our cities," said Paul Ries, manager of ODF's urban forestry program. "Their actions are notable for showing creativity, initiative, and leadership in community tree care programs that all cities can aspire to and achieve.”

Anyone can make nominations for the awards, which are given annually for leadership in community and urban forestry.

For information on how to make a nomination for next year’s awards, contact Oregon Community Trees at or the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Urban and Community Forests Program.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Astoria Community Unites for Earth Day Tree Plantings

ASTORIA, Ore. – Two hundred new trees for 200 years. That was the inspiration in a community-wide tree planting effort in Astoria on Earth Day April 22. The new trees are a gift that will keep on growing, given to the people of Astoria by Pacific Power in recognition of its 100 years of service and to commemorate the city’s bicentennial in 2011. More than 100 people – everyone from school children to local leaders – helped plant the trees, primarily at city gateways and historical sites.
"This was a special day in Astoria," said Willis Van Dusen, Astoria mayor. "I was proud to be a part of it and to watch our community come together in this effort. These trees will continue to add to the unique character that is Astoria, and will add to our growing legacy of promoting economic development in the city through both historic preservation and sustainability. And, as mayor it gives me a great opportunity to thank Pacific Power for being such a strong partner to our city throughout Astoria’s bad times, as well as the good times like today."
The trees planted April 22 are among 200 donated to the city by Pacific Power as it celebrates its centennial. Astoria was one of the first Northwest cities to get electric lights, in 1885, and one of the four original Pacific Power communities when the company was incorporated June 16, 1910.
In recognition of that century of service, Pacific Power is providing its original communities with a lasting gift, a legacy gift. Working with city leaders and the Astoria Bicentennial Steering Committee, the community tree planting effort was identified as an appropriate gift for Astoria.
"We are so grateful for such a generous and lasting gift – 200 ornamental trees gracing our streets, parks, schools, neighborhoods and cemetery for many years to come," said Arline LaMear, chair, Bicentennial Tree Committee. "We are confident that this gift will also help us attain our goal of being named a Tree City USA in time for our 2011 Bicentennial year celebrations."
"What a marvelous way to kick-off the first official event for Astoria’s Bicentennial Celebration," said Paulette McCoy, director of Astoria’s Bicentennial Celebration. "This gift will be a lasting reminder of Pacific Power’s deep roots in Astoria’s history, and a legacy to appreciate for years to come."
The commemorative trees are all utility-friendly, which means their growth will not eventually lead to problems with any overhead power lines in the area. Varieties include flowering crabapple, cherry, gingko, maple and other ornamentals.
The April 22 event kicked off at the Columbia River Maritime Museum, where volunteers gathered to hear from officials, including Mayor Van Dusen, and to get their tree planting assignments. After plantings were completed in designated sites throughout the city, teams wrapped up the morning with a celebratory lunch.
Approximately 150 of the commemorative trees are designated for public spaces. The remaining 50 were made available for city residents to plant in their yards. This fall, additional trees will be planted at the Maritime Memorial Park once the Shively Fountain is restored and settled in its new location there. Pacific Power is also a sponsor of the restoration of this historic fountain.
"Our thanks go to the mayor, bicentennial committee and community partners involved in this community-wide planting effort," said Pat Reiten, Pacific Power president. Reiten and his management team and local employees were among those planting trees. "It has been a privilege to work alongside the community in planting these trees, just as it has been an honor to serve our customers for 100 years. We will share your pride in watching these trees grow and add to the character of this community for many decades to come."

Monday, May 10, 2010

Register by May 15 for Oregon UCF Conference to get Discount

2010 Oregon Urban & Community Forestry Conference is June 2-3. Register by May 15 to receive discount. Details at