Awards recognize urban, community forest 'friends' - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Awards recognize urban, community forest 'friends'

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Madison (News Release) - A rural Marathon County resident, four governmental entities, a local tree board, and two state legislators have been recognized by the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council for their support of the state's urban and community forest resources.

Recipients of this year's Urban Forestry Awards are:

  • Tom Meier, a Town of Mosinee resident, recipient of the Distinguished Service Award for his sustained leadership (working as a volunteer) in establishing and working with town officials and residents to raise oak wilt awareness and management and control programs and activities.
  • The Dane County Land and Water Resources Department, the Dane County Public Works Solid Waste Division, and the Dane County Tree Board, winner of the Project Partnership Award for their leadership in gathering together urban forestry partners and stakeholders to develop the county's Emerald Ash Borer and Wood Utilization Strategic Management Plan.
  • City of Mequon and City of Milwaukee representatives and We Energies, winners of the Innovations in Urban Forestry Award for their collaboration and innovative use of hyperspectral imagery to develop a comprehensive ash tree canopy map for use in the two communities EAB readiness planning.
  • State Rep. Fred Clark of Baraboo, (42nd Assembly District) and State Sen. Judy Robson of Beloit (15th Senate District), winners of the elected Official Distinguished Service Award for their leadership in the protection of the state's urban forests (including their work to reinstate funding for Wisconsin's Urban Forestry Grants program.

The Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council advises the Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry on the best ways to preserve, protect, expand, and improve the state's urban and community forest resources. The awards are a way to recognize and thank individuals and organizations for their work and dedication and to help focus attention on a valuable community resource: the trees, plantings, and habitat that are an integral part of Wisconsin's forest resource, according to Deena Murphy, assistant planner/zoning inspector for the City of Onalaska who chairs the Council's awards committee.

The award recipients were announced earlier this year at the Wisconsin Arborist Association-annual Urban Forestry Conference in Green Bay. Award ceremonies will be scheduled in the honorees' home communities. Both Sen. Robson and City of Milwaukee officials will receive their awards as part of their communities' Arbor Day observances on April 30. The Dane County Project Partnership Award honorees will receive their award on May 6. Ceremonies honoring the other award-winners will be held at future dates.

Murphy said now is an excellent time to look around and identify the individual, agency, and/or organization whose respect for and work in support of their community's urban forestry resources should be recognized. Although the deadline for submitting a complete formal nomination is Dec. 30, 2010, Murphy said a preliminary nomination (an e-mail or letter containing the name(s) and contact information, award category and project name) can be sent in at any time to the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707; to any of the regional urban forestry coordinators; or to Council Liaison Laura Wyatt. Detailed information on how to submit a preliminary or complete nomination can be found on the Urban Forestry Council Awards Web page.

"One way to celebrate Arbor Day and Earth Day in Wisconsin is to spend some time in your community to enjoy the parks, trees, and other plantings that make up your urban forest, and identify the people who are helping to nurture and preserve this often-overlooked resource," Murphy said. "Now is a perfect time to nominate someone for an Urban Forestry Award."

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