Education, Outreach, and Advocacy Oregon Community Trees


Oregon Urban & Community Forestry Awards

Each year, Oregon Community Trees (OCT) and the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) honors outstanding Individuals, Organizations and an Oregon Tree City of the Year for their leadership and accomplishments in advancing urban and community forestry projects and activities in the state of Oregon. These awards recognize powerful examples of inspirational individuals engaging citizens, promoting tree planting and quality tree care, raising awareness and knowledge about Oregon’s trees and forests, and protecting Oregon’s urban and community forests to improve the quality of life in towns and cities around the state.

Nominate an individual or organization using this form.

Nominations must be submitted by February 15, 2018


2017 Urban & Community Forestry Award Winners

Oregon Tree City of the Year 2017: Baker City

Baker City is Oregon’s Tree City of the Year for 2017.  City staff and the tree board revised their street tree guide in 2014. It is available to the public via City Hall, the city website and local nurseries. To increase program support, the city in 2015 increased the number of tree board members from five to seven.

Baker City has also established the Silvers Street Tree Grant Program. The program is funded by a bequest from Anthony Silvers, who left his entire estate to improve the city’s stock of street trees. Grants assist property owners to purchase street trees from the revised guide and pay for nursery staff to plant the trees.

Since last year, the tree board has partnered with the local newspaper to publish tree-related information every quarter. Information on proper tree pruning and maintenance is also available to the public from the city’s Water and Public Works departments, as well as on the city’s website.

“Baker City is a shining example of how a committed community can empower residents to help build a healthy, thriving urban forest,” said Katie Lompa, community assistance forester with ODF, which administers the Tree City USA program in Oregon in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation. “I hope all Oregonians will join me in applauding Baker City for the efforts that earned them this award.”


Individual Award: Kasia Quillinan, Salem Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

Since 2012 Kasia Quillinan has served on Salem Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. An attorney and retired judge, Kasia has chaired the volunteer board for the past three years. The board oversees parks and hears appeals to removals of city-owned trees.

Kristin Ramstad, manager with ODF’s Urban and Community Forestry Program, said Quillinan played a major role on an advisory committee in 2013-14 that recommended updates to Salem’s tree ordinance. “Those updates strengthened protections for city-owned trees. They reflected Kasia’s belief that trees are vital for a healthy city.”


Individual Award: Lia Spiegel, City of La Grande, Community Landscape and Forestry Commission.

Lia has served on the City of La Grande Community Landscape and Forestry Commission for over ten consecutive years, from 2006 – 2017. She has served as Chair of the commission and is currently Vice Chair.

Lia works as an entomologist for the USDA Blue Mountains Forest Insect and Disease Service in La Grande and brings her forest health knowledge and insight to the Commission.

As a Commissioner, Lia was instrumental in drafting the current Landscape and Forestry Master Plan for the City of La Grande in 2008. She is currently involved in reviewing and updating La Grande’s tree protection ordinance.

Lia initially joined the Commission because of her concern over the quality of utility clearance pruning of La Grande’s trees. Since 2006 the City has implemented a directional pruning policy with the local utility provider (OTECC) and their pruning contractor, eliminating the practice of topping, or rounding over, trees under the utility lines. In 2016 a new utility contractor began work in the City using pruning practices that did not meet City standards. Lia and the Urban Forestry staff met with representatives of OTECC and the contractors to address the concerns. Lia also met with the pruning crew foremen and the company’s arborist to review the City’s requirements for proper pruning practices.

Organization Award: North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District – Natural Area Division

For 25 years, NCPRD has been a key provider of park services to North Clackamas residents. For the last 8+ years, NCPRD’s Natural Areas division has been implementing restoration projects across 800 acres of forests, wetlands and streams within a highly developed urban environment – particularly those under-served, low-income neighborhoods.

Each year NCPRD’s Natural Area division partners with student groups, water council boards, SOLVE, Friends of Trees, METRO, USFW, and multiple volunteer groups to plant 1,000’s of trees annually. They also provide education and park maintenance/clean-up days to continually engage residents and volunteers in the benefits of the tress they planted in their parks. Most recent highlights include Spring Park restoration and White Oak Habitat restoration at Mt Talbert.

Of all the park and recreation services NCPRD provides, natural areas and trails are highly requested and valued. Tree planting has been a critical method of restoring ecosystem services in an environment that is highly urban and, in some cases, highly degraded. By encouraging residents and volunteers to participate in restoring their neighborhood parks, tree plantings have been a particularly popular activity that continually improves park experiences and supports NCPRD’s goals overall.

Oregon Community Trees Presidents Award 2017:

Brian Wegener – past president

Greg Giesy – past president


Previous Urban & Community Forestry Award Recipients

 Individual Awards:

Ian Keene, Lincoln City – 2016

Lee Stevenson, Project Ponderosa Pine, Sunriver – 2016

Patricia Farrell, City of Salem – 2016

Organization Awards:

Eugene Friends of Trees – 2016

City of Eugene – 2016

President’s Award:

John Bellon, City of Klamath Falls – 2016

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