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.

Our Awards nominations are closed for 2018, please come back again early next year.


Meet our 2018 Urban & Community Forestry Award Winners

Oregon Tree City of the Year 2018: City of Lake Oswego

OCT’s Brian French (left) and City Councilors Skip O’Neill and Jackie Manz (center and right)

Lake Oswego’s Urban & Community Forestry Program has been very active over the last 10-15 years, including annual Arbor Week events, festivals, and contests, a free public workshop series, celebrating Heritage Trees with dedication ceremonies, bike rides, and an updated brochure, developing the Right Tree in the Right Place brochure to help homeowners with tree selection and planting, mapping 100+ year old trees for the Century Tree Project during the City’s centennial year, on-going efforts to restore and enhance natural areas, supporting voluntary neighborhood stewardship groups, and publishing the annual Urban & Community Forestry newsletter as an insert in HelloLO. “I think it’s the fun and creative ways the City celebrates urban forestry and the variety of efforts to promote education, dialogue, and  voluntary stewardship over the years that led to this award. It’s very exciting for the city to be recognized by the state” – Morgan Holen, Lake Oswego Contract Arborist.


Individual Award: Mary Harrell, Friends of Trees (Portland, Oregon)

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

Mary Harrell has been the backbone of Friends of Trees as the Office Manager for 23 years. She has served Friends of Trees and their communities for almost all of Friends of Trees’ entire existence as a nonprofit organization—since 1995. She is the smile that daily greets our staff, neighbors and volunteers. She works behind the scenes to keep our massive tree planting and community building operation running smoothly. She supports her staff to ensure they are able to plant tens of thousands of trees in Oregon and Washington each planting season. Mary is the glue that holds Friends of Trees together, the mycelium spreading silently through the soil, connecting generations of Friends of Trees staff to each other, and to our neighbors and our community. Her positive and calm attitude lift us in the middle of our crazy planting seasons. She educates thousands of community members who walk through our office door and inspires them to learn more about urban and community trees. If any one person is responsible for the 700,000 trees that Friends of Trees has planted, the thousands of volunteers each year, and the endless smiles – Mary is that person.

Individual Award: Paul Hennon, City of Tualatin Community Services Director

Paul Hennon with Tualatin community volunteers

Paul is retiring after over 30 years with the City of Tualatin where he has acquired or developed over 300 acres of city parks, trails, greenways and natural areas (84 acres of parks, 120 acres of greenways & 107 acres of natural areas). He started Tualatin’s community urban forestry and street tree program and has overseen the city’s Tree City USA recognition for 31 years. He is passionate about the health, environmental, conservation and social equity benefits, and access to greenways, trail and natural areas. He supports and provides resources to the Wetlands Conservancy and Tualatin Riverkeepers.

Individual Award: Casey Roland, Casey P. Roland Tree Care (Ashland, Oregon)

OCT’s Adam Airoldi (left) and Casey Roland of Casey P. Roland Tree Care (right)

Casey is the owner of Casey P. Roland Tree Care in Ashland, Oregon. He is a past City Tree Commissioner and volunteers his time to care for people’s trees who lack the funds to pay. He has graciously helped save hundreds of trees and has made good on several of his famous comments such as, “if its the mess your worried about, I will rake up those leaves for the rest of my life to save that tree”. He has been a professional arborist for over 30 years and doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. He is a true Lorax.

Organization Award: Plant Oregon (Talent, Oregon)

Dave Bish of Plant Oregon

 Every year Plant Oregon donates tens of thousands of dollars worth of plants and trees to Southern Oregon University in their efforts to support Arbor Day and Tree Campus USA. Between 2014 and 2017 they have donated over $50,000 worth of plants, mostly native trees, to be planted as part of the Southern Oregon University and City of Ashland Urban Forest. Dave and Dan Bish and the whole Plant Oregon Team are committed to helping Oregon to have a healthy diverse and prosperous Urban Forest. They have been planting trees in Oregon for over 30 years.

Oregon Community Trees Presidents Award 2018: Jon Pywell, Urban Forester of the City of Corvallis

OCT’s Eric DeBord (left), Jon Pywell (center), and OCT’s Jennifer Killian

Over the past few years, as Urban Forester for the City of Corvallis, Jon Pywell (center) has taken many innovative steps to improve the level of arboricultural services and awareness in both his community and surrounding areas. He has demonstrated excellence in program building, professional outreach, and community engagement. Here are a few of his accomplishments to date: Development of Corvalis’ urban lumber utilization program. Over the past year (2017), Jon and his crew have initiated a program to mill wood from public trees that are removed. This was done through partnerships with local millers and may serve as a model for surrounding communities, as it is a pressing issue for many municipalities. Jon has also developed a pruning program for young trees in Corvallis. This sets the stage for good form and health throughout the life of these public trees. Jon partnered with Park Supervisor Jude Geist to implement the Chip Ross Park oak release and restoration project to enhance and restore a rare habitat in Oregon. Jon was also instrumental in the development of the Pacific Northwest Tree Failure Database. This database will be very helpful for PNW foresters in understanding the modes of failures for our urban trees.


Previous Urban & Community Forestry Award Recipients

 Individual Awards:

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:

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

Eugene Friends of Trees – 2016

City of Eugene – 2016

President’s Award:

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 Milwaukie – 2017

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