Congratulations to all of our Bronze Leaf Award winners, Thank you for your tireless efforts enhancing and preserving the Urban Forest.
Micah Pace, Preservation Tree – State of the Denton Urban Forest project
Micah Pace, Preservation Tree Services Urban Forester, spent the summer of 2016 studying the area trees, their effects on the environment, and how they impact the community around Denton, Texas. Data was collected, analyzed, and reported to include how we understand the urban forest’s structure, function, and associated value. The study found Denton currently has 3.5 million trees that impact not only the aesthetic value of the area, but also the economic development, home & property values, and how residents live, work and play in Denton. Press Release: Dallas, TX – (1/9//2016)
The story of the renewed effort in Citizen Forestry and the change in the organization from David Coke:
We held a Quarterly Meeting at Henrietta’s Orchid back in the fall of 2015. We were sitting in the shade eating lunch after the meeting and Wanda was asking Camillle about how Citizen Foresters were organized and what her role was. Wanda had recently completed the training in Grapevine and was just trying to figure out how she’d get in her volunteer time and get the needed CEUs as well as who was responsible for what. What she heard was that things weren’t well organized and she’d have to take the lead on her own volunteer time fulfillment. Wanda then took the lead on identifying a group to work on improving the organization of the Citizen Foresters and improving the way we worked on enhancing the urban forest while making it easier to get in our volunteer hours. It was her doggedness and refusal to accept the way things were that caused all that to happen. She spent a lot of time getting Volgistics up and going, getting the committee together, the organization figured out, and getting people in the identified roles.
Lauren Barker, Keep Denton Beautiful – Multiple tree programs/projects
Currently celebrating its 30th Anniversary, Keep Denton Beautiful, Inc. (KDB) has worked to established itself as one of Denton’s key resources for tree planting and community tree programs. Over the years, KDB has focused heavily on providing free tree planting resources, and educating the community about the importance of trees – not just for community beautification, but for improving Denton’s overall health and quality of life. KDB is one of the most “tree focused” Keep Texas Beautiful affiliates in the state. This is mostly due to Executive Director Lauren Barker who’s passion for trees and community forestry has lead KDB to be one of the states non-profit leaders in community forestry. Under Lauren direction KDB has accomplished the following in the past few years.
In the last 10 years alone, KDB community forestry programs have helped plant and distribute an estimated 31,000 trees throughout Denton. KDB’s longest-running tree programs, such as the Community Tree Giveaway – which gives away around 700 free trees per year to Denton residents – and the Denton Redbud Festival, Denton’s official Arbor Day celebration, demonstrate the organization’s ongoing commitment to nurturing and growing the community’s urban forest. KDB is responsible for re-certifying Denton through the Tree City USA Program, currently in its 26th year, and the community has also received the Arbor Day Growth Award for nine consecutive years.
In 2015, KDB worked to expand its role as a leader in community forestry by partnering with the City of Denton to introduce the Denton Tree Initiative, an ambitious campaign that aims to dramatically increase tree planting and tree education in the city over a period of three years. The six programs and projects that comprise the Denton Tree Initiative use the same grass-roots, volunteer-driven program model that Keep Denton Beautiful has so successfully implemented over its 30 years in the Denton community. The programs provide free trees, tree education, tree planting incentives, and other resources in exchange for a commitment from community members to do one simple thing: plant and care for a tree at home, at school, or at their place of work. In the first year and a half of the Denton Tree Initiative (fall 2015 to present), 424 new trees have been planted; programs have provided free tree education for 526 participants; and nearly 300 rebates have been issued for residents and businesses planting qualified trees. These numbers are in addition to the more than 2,000 free trees and numerous education opportunities KDB offers annually.
Most recently KDB partnered with the city forestry dept and Preservation tree to conduct an extremely in-depth iTree Eco analysis of the urban forest resource in the city. This monumental document has recently been published as “The State of the Denton Urban Forest” and will soon be available on the KDB website
City of Grand Prairie – 2016 Arbor Day Ceremony
- Grand Prairie was recognized as the second oldest Tree City USA in Texas, celebrating 33 years
- Arbor Day 2016 was held at Kirby Creek Nature Center and there were 675 – 4th & 5th Grade students from Marshal and Austin Elementary Schools who attended and visited the 18 informational booths that were set up for a day of environmental learning.
- There were educational booths from the Texas Forest Service, Corp of Engineers, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Summit Garden Club, GPISD environmental students and many of the City of Grand Prairie Departments just to mention a few of the 18 booths.
- The day started out with the Arbor Day Ceremony which included Mayor Jensen reading the proclamation and the Texas A&M Forest Service Regional Forester Courtney Blevins presenting the City with our Tree City USA designation. This year was our 33rd year as a Tree City and we are the second oldest Tree City USA in the state of Texas!
- The ceremony was followed by the traditional planting of the Arbor Day Tree and then the fun began
- The children received environmental information, activities and trinkets at each of the 18 booths and they all went home with a free Texas Red Oak tree seedling along with instructions on how to plant. The day ended with a very nice lunch provided by GPISD. Everyone had a wonderful educational fun filled day that all will remember!