Awards

DNR Urban Forestry Program Announces 2023 Grant Recipients

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced the Urban Forestry Grant Program recipients for the 2023 grant year. The program helps fund projects consistent with state and national goals for increasing the urban forest canopy.

The Urban Forestry Grant Program had almost $700,000 in grant funds, with $419,860 in state funding and an additional $273,512 in federal funding. A dollar-for-dollar match puts the estimated total cost of these projects at $1.5 million. In all, 58 applications were selected to receive funding, with awards ranging from $2,106 to $25,000. Continue reading “DNR Urban Forestry Program Announces 2023 Grant Recipients”

Local Filmmakers Make Stars Out of Local Trees

Micah Davis (left) and Steve Betchkal (right) hold their Midwest Emmy, awarded for their short film “Champion Trees”. Photo Credit: Story Time with Steve & Micah Facebook page

To see a heartwarming story about the power of trees, check out “BRANCHING OUT: Local Filmmakers Score Big by Making Stars Out of Local Trees” by Eric Rasmussen. Micah Davis and Steve Betchkal (Story time with Steve and Micah) spotlight the city of Eau Claire and explore its connection with its trees in a video called Champion Trees.   Continue reading “Local Filmmakers Make Stars Out of Local Trees”

DNR Urban Forestry Employees Receive NASF Award

The Wisconsin DNR Urban Forestry’s own Laura Buntrock, Urban Forestry Program Specialist, and Olivia Witthun, Urban Forestry Coordinator, were awarded the National Association of State Foresters’ (NASF) Steve Sinclair Current Achievement Award for Urban and Community Forestry for their work in the recently published study on the economic benefits of urban and community forestry (UCF). The award ceremony took place at NASF’s 2022 annual meeting, and their awards represent extraordinary contributions to state and private forestry.

Olivia Witthun (left) accepts the Sinclair Current Achievement Award at the NASF 2022 annual meeting.

The economic study, covering the entirety of the Northeast-Midwest region (20 states and the District of Columbia), is the first comprehensive analysis of economic UCF benefits at a regional scale. Its findings justify the enhancement of current UCF programs and the creation of new initiatives to support urban forest management. They have already helped launch similar research in the South and the state of California.

Continue reading “DNR Urban Forestry Employees Receive NASF Award”

Tree City USA Applications Open!

The Arbor Day Foundation’s Recertification application portal for this year is now open and available. The Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA program is working to help grow the urban tree canopy in Wisconsin. With more than 200 designated communities, almost 60% of Wisconsinites live in a Tree City USA community.

Tree City USA communities show a strong commitment to growing and maintaining a healthy tree canopy. To receive the recognition, communities must:

  • maintain a tree board or department
  • have a community tree ordinance
  • spend at least $2 per capita on urban forestry
  • celebrate Arbor Day.

Continue reading “Tree City USA Applications Open!”

Submit an Urban Forestry Council Award Nomination Today!

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is accepting nominations for the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council 2023 Awards until October 31, 2022.

The Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council is responsible for advising the DNR on the best ways to preserve, protect, expand, and improve Wisconsin’s urban and community forest resources. Every year, the council presents annual awards to outstanding individuals, organizations, communities, and tribes that further urban forestry in Wisconsin. The awards are announced each year at the annual Wisconsin Urban Forestry Conference and are presented to winners in their community. Continue reading “Submit an Urban Forestry Council Award Nomination Today!”

2021 Tree City USA Statistics and Community Recognition

The 2021 Tree City USA Summary is out, and with it is great news for Wisconsin’s Urban Forests!

Wisconsin communities reported planting 29,370 trees and spending $48,120,648 on Urban Forestry Management.

There are 201 Tree City USA communities within the Wisconsin, and 59.75% of the state lives in a Tree City USA community. Of the previous Tree City USA communities, 99% have been recertified to the program!

We deeply appreciate the commitment to urban forestry demonstrated by our 2021 Tree City, Tree Campus and Tree Line USA participants. Thank you for your hard work.

Keep reading to see more community specific awards and highlights.

Continue reading “2021 Tree City USA Statistics and Community Recognition”

Urban Forestry Council Highlights: Departing Members, Urban Forestry Updates, Awards

Wisconsin DNR Division of Forestry thanks departing Urban Forestry Council members Marla Eddy, Mark Freberg, August Hoppe and Gail Sumi for their time and dedication to the council. Pictured above are August Hoppe (far left), Heather Berklund, Wisconsin State Forester (left middle), Gail Sumi (right middle) and Mark Freberg (far right).

The Urban Forestry Council met on June 22, 2022, for the first in-person meeting since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting was a bittersweet mix of saying goodbyes to departing council members, sharing exciting updates and voting on new council member recommendations. DNR forestry staff provided updates about the newly released Urban Forestry Economic Report, grant overview and general updates and highlights.

Continue reading “Urban Forestry Council Highlights: Departing Members, Urban Forestry Updates, Awards”

Wisconsin Tree Champions Lauded For Outstanding Community Service

By Sara Minkoff, DNR Urban Forestry Council Liaison, Sara.Minkoff@wisconsin.gov or 608-669-5447

The Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council recently announced their annual awards honoring those dedicated to protecting, preserving and increasing the number of trees that line city streets, fill community parks and enhance neighborhoods throughout the state.

The Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council advises the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on the best ways to preserve, protect, expand and improve Wisconsin’s urban and community forest resources.

Continue reading “Wisconsin Tree Champions Lauded For Outstanding Community Service”

Nominate Your Community Tree Champion For An Urban Forestry Council Award!

The Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council (UFC), comprised of municipal employees, elected officials, nursery operators and arborists, advises the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) 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 trees, plantings, habitat and the economic benefits they provide. The awards are announced at the annual Wisconsin Urban Forestry Conference in February and presented to winners in their communities.

We are currently seeking nominations for next year’s awards. The deadline for 2022 nominees is Oct. 31, 2021. However, you can nominate your community tree champions at any time.

There are five categories of awards, including our new Next Gen award:

Continue reading “Nominate Your Community Tree Champion For An Urban Forestry Council Award!”

Tree City USA: Wisconsin By The Numbers

Since 1976, Tree City USA has been a catalyst for community tree care and a powerful force for promoting urban forestry. This program, sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation (ADF) and administered in Wisconsin by the DNR, provides communities with a tangible goal and national recognition for their community forestry efforts. Wisconsin has 201 Tree City USAs, ranking it second in the nation!

A 2020 summary by ADF provides the following statistics on Wisconsin’s Tree City USAs:

  • 60% of Wisconsin lives in a Tree City USA
  • $51,319,634 was spent on urban forestry management ($14.65 average per capita)
  • 31,413 trees were planted
  • 20 communities received Growth Awards

Continue reading “Tree City USA: Wisconsin By The Numbers”