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 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.

We have selected award winners for 2019!

City of Corvallis, Tree City of the Year

The City of Corvallis earned a pair of high-profile forestry honors this spring as the community celebrated Arbor Week (March 31 – April 6). The City was named “Oregon Tree City of the Year” by Oregon Community Trees, a nonprofit that encourages community engagement in urban forestry, and the Oregon Department of Forestry. The City also marked its 18th year as a Tree City USA recipient, achieving Sterling status from the program in recognition of 10 years of sustained growth of its urban forestry program.

Diane Berry, City of Echo – President’s Award

Diane Berry of the City of Echo received the President’s Award from OCT’s Samantha Wolf. Photo by EJ Harris

Diane Berry’s initiatives gained were recognized in 2003 when Echo was named Oregon Tree City of the Year, in part when it designated the red-flowering horsechestnut as the town’s official tree. Mayor Hampton said at the time, ““Thanks for doing this for Diane, she is very deserving.” She mentioned the work Diane has done with the city’s student body to educate them about trees, their urban forest, and Tree City USA. “The students of Echo have been actively involved with the city and most know the name of the city tree that the students named a couple years ago. Yes, that too was Diane’s idea.”

Chris John, City of Ashland – Individual Award

Chris John, City of Ashland with OCT’s Mike Oxendine

Ashland Tree Commission Chair Chris John works hard to preserve urban trees and educate the public about their importance. He and his company – Canopy LLC The Care of Trees – frequently educate clients about the value of retaining trees versus simply removing them at the first sign of trouble. During the Ashland festival of lights, John and his company donated 300 native conifers, giving them away to Ashland residents who promised to plant them.

Kerry Rappold, City of Wilsonville – Individual Award

Kerry Rappold, Natural Resources Manager for the City of Wilsonville received award from OCT’s Samantha Wolf and Morgan Holen

Another honoree is Kerry Rappold. Rappold was instrumental in starting the city’s “Bees Stewardship” program and advancing Wilsonville’s urban forest. The “Bee Stewards” program has earned Wilsonville a Bee City USA designation. He has also worked to create passages for wildlife during road construction in the city.

Willamette Valley Ponderosa Pine Conservation Association – Organizational Award

Willamette Valley Ponderosa Pine Conservation Association representative with OCT’s Jim Gersbach

The Willamette Valley Ponderosa Pine Conservation Association (WVPPCA) has aided cities interested in planting the native subspecies of ponderosa pine by publishing the Willamette Valley Ponderosa Pine Management Guide. In the 1990s the group was instrumental in collecting genetic material from most of the remaining valley ponderosa pine stands. Several of those stands have since been lost to development. Seedlings grown from seed collected by the WVPPCA were planted at the Oregon Department of Forestry’s seed nursery in St. Paul, Oregon. The grove at St. Paul forms the most complete collection of genes of the Willamette Valley subspecies of ponderosa pine in the world.



Previous Urban & Community Forestry Award Recipients

                                   Mary Harrell Friends of Trees (left) and OCT’s Jim Gersbach


Individual Awards:

Casey Roland, Casey P. Roland Tree Care – 2018

Mary Harrell, Friends of Trees – 2018

Paul Hennon, City of Tualatin Community Services Director – 2018

Kasia Quillinan, City of Salem Parks Advisory Board – 2017

Lia Spiegel, City of La Grande – 2017

Ian Keene, Lincoln City – 2016

Lee Stevenson, Project Ponderosa Pine, Sunriver – 2016

Patricia Farrell, City of Salem – 2016

Organization Awards:

Plant Oregon Nursery, Talent, Oregon – 2018

North Clackamas Parks & Recreation District’s Natural Areas Program – 2017

Eugene Friends of Trees – 2016

City of Eugene – 2016

President’s Award:

Jon Pywell, City of Corvallis Urban Forester – 2018

Greg Giesy, Past President – 2017

Brian Wegener, Past President – 2017

John Bellon, City of Klamath Falls – 2016

Oregon Tree City of the Year Award:

City of Lake Oswego – 2018

City of Milwaukie – 2017

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