Request For Urban Forestry Council Award Nominations

The 2023 Urban Forestry Council Award winners. From left to right: John Wayne Farber, Leadership Award; John Gall, Lifetime Achievement Award; Cory Gritzmacher, receiving the Innovation Award on behalf of the Mequon Nature Preserve.

The Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council, comprised of municipal employees, elected officials, nursery operators, and arborists, advises the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR)’s Division of Forestry on the best ways to manage urban and community forest resources.

Every year, the council bestows several awards to recognize and thank individuals, organizations, communities and tribes across Wisconsin for their work and commitment to the trees, plantings, habitat and economic benefits they provide. The awards are announced at the annual Wisconsin Urban Forestry Conference in February and presented to winners in their community.

We are currently seeking nominations for the 2024 awards. The deadline for 2024 nominees is Oct. 31, 2023. However, you can nominate your community tree champions any time.

There are five categories of awards:

  1. Lifetime Achievement award recognizes outstanding contributions to urban forestry in Wisconsin demonstrated throughout a lifetime career.
  2. Project Partnership award recognizes outstanding projects that utilize partnerships as a means of providing services or benefits to the urban forest.
  3. Leadership award recognizes an individual or elected official at the county or local level of government who has made an outstanding recent contribution to urban forestry in Wisconsin. This could be a mayor, alderman, county executive, or citizen who has gone above and beyond in their support. Wisconsin state legislators who have made outstanding contributions to urban forestry will also be considered after they have completed their terms of office.
  4. Innovations in Urban Forestry award recognizes a community, individual, association or organization exhibiting outstanding innovations in the development or enhancement of an urban forestry project or program. This award recognizes the creativity, commitment and success of urban forestry efforts.
  5. Next Gen award recognizes an organization or individual working to inspire and educate the next generation of citizens engaged with their urban forests through projects, activities and a variety of additional contributions. These inspiring adults will support the future growth and development of the field by encouraging these youth to become the next generation of urban forestry professionals and its supporters. Eligible programs engage youth through age 18.

Nomination Process

Nominations for 2024 awards must be submitted by Oct. 31, 2023, and include:

  • Suggested award category.
  • Name(s), address(es) and phone number(s) of the individual/organization, group of project being nominated.
  • Project name, if applicable.
  • Name(s), address(es), and phone number(s) of persons to be contacted regarding the nomination.
  • A description of the merits of the nominee or the achievements of the project or partnership. Include the goals/objectives of the project and detail the outcome or impact the action had on the community. Why do you believe this nominee is deserving of the award? Feel free to attach any supporting documents (news clippings, photos, letters, etc.) that strengthen the nomination.

Please keep nominations to a maximum of two pages (not including attachments).

Send nominations to UFC Awards Committee Chairperson Lee Fredericks at

To see previous winners, visit the DNR’s Urban Forestry Awards webpage.

For additional information, please contact a Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council member or regional urban forestry coordinator.

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