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2013 Urban and Community Forestry Awards Announced
News Release
April 22, 2013
Kristin Ramstad, 503-945-7491
Cynthia Orlando, 503-945-7421
 
2013 Oregon Urban and Community Forestry awards announced

The state’s Urban and Community Forestry Council announced today the recipients of the 2013 Oregon Urban and Community Forestry Awards.
 
“This year’s award recipients are great examples of inspirational individuals and organizations promoting tree planting and quality tree care, while raising awareness and knowledge about Oregon’s trees and urban and community forests,” said Oregon Community Trees (OCT) President Allan Wells. “We’re proud to honor them.”
 
Now in their 20th year, the OCT awards recognize outstanding individuals and organizations for their significant accomplishments and leadership in advancing urban and community forestry projects and activities in the state of Oregon.
 
This year’s award recipients are as follows:
Individual Awards
Linda Peterson, a tireless advocate for trees in the City of Salem, served as a citizen stakeholder on the City’s Community Forestry Advisory Committee. She also serves on Salem’s Shade Tree Advisory Committee, and has served on numerous other volunteer advisory committees and boards advocating for trees.
 
John Bellon, Park Superintendent for Klamath Falls City Parks, for working on a variety of fuel reduction projects, a prescribed burn in the Klamath Falls urban growth boundary, for providing technical assistance to the Klamath Tree League and being a driving force behind the City’s Tree City USA program. For the past seven years Bellon has given tree selection slideshows for the public and has led tree identification walks every year for volunteers and community members.
 
Jim Gersbach of Portland has been a volunteer with Friends of Trees for almost the entirety of the agency’s 23-year existence. In August, Gersbach hosted the “Good Street and Tree Yards for Homeowners” workshop at the PNW Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture’s (ISA) Arbor Fair – part of the ISA’s Annual Conference. In September he was a co-presenter with Friends of Tree members at “Trees for Eugene and Springfield’s 21st Century Urban Forest” conference.
 
Business / Community Award: The City of LaGrande
The City of LaGrande received the “Business / Community” award for their ambitious tree program. Last year, the city installed 40 new trees in their downtown area. The city also completed the first phase of a river greenway project – a bridge spanning the Grande Ronde River, cleaned up several tons of waste material from riverbanks, and pruned trees to reduce pedestrian and improve nesting habitat.
 
Tree City of the Year Award: Rogue River
The City of Rogue River is honored as this year’s Tree City for outstanding accomplishment and leadership, promoting and protecting community forests and improving the quality of life for Oregonians.
Rogue River was first certified a Tree City USA in 1983 due to the focused effort of city resident Anna Classick, nicknamed by the town as their “First Lady of Trees.” Through Classick’s leadership, many students in this southern Oregon city learned much about forestry and participated in many tree plantings. In 1990 she received the Enerson award from the National Arbor Day Foundation for her efforts in planting trees throughout the town. In 2003, the venerable Ms Classick passed away...she was in her 90s.
In 2004, the city’s TCUSA efforts were taken over by Don Moody, another Master Gardener with both agricultural and educational experience. Under Moody’s leadership, the city continues to plant new trees and maintain them until they are established, monitors the health and well-being of park trees and celebrates Arbor Day with local students.
 
President's Award: Art Anderson
A highly respected leader in the Oregon nursery industry, Art Anderson is this year's recipient of the President's Award.
Anderson is recognized around the country as a savvy and tireless advocate for trees. He serves as the General Manager of the family-owned J. Frank Schmidt Company in Boring, Oregon, and has more than 30 years expertise in growing trees. Anderson has served as a founding member and first President of the Oregon Garden Foundation in Silverton, Oregon, and is also past president of the Oregon Association of Nurseries. Prior to working with J. Frank Schmidt, Anderson was General Manager of Northwest Shade Trees LLC, a 360-acre specimen B&B nursery located in Brooks, Oregon.
 
About Oregon Community Trees…and the 2013 Urban and Community Forestry Conference.
Oregon Community Trees (OCT) is a nonprofit organization led by a board of 23 volunteer directors from around the state representing business, government, education and citizen groups. Partners include the Oregon Department of Forestry, the US Forest Service and Oregon State University.
 
In addition to presenting the 2013 Oregon Urban and Community Forestry Awards, OCT will host an annual conference for citizens and professionals June 6th at the World Forestry Center in Portland.
 
This year's theme is "Linking Landscapes and People: Urban Forest Management Strategies." To register: www.oregoncommunitytrees.org