NASPF honored at Ohio Urban and Community Forestry 40th anniversary

A man in a suit presents an award to a woman in Forest Service uniform
Donna Foster accepts Cambium Award on behalf of the USDA Forest Service from Ohio Division of Natural Resources Chief Dan Balser. Photo courtesy of Tyler Stevenson, Ohio Division of Natural Resources.

OHIO – June 21, the Ohio Division of Natural Resources Urban Forestry Program held a forum celebrating the 40th anniversary of Ohio’s Urban Forestry Assistance program at the Ohio State Fairgrounds in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio Division of Natural Resources Director Mary Mertz gave opening remarks followed by an integrated awards ceremony recognizing several agencies and individuals. Highlights included two awards accepted by representatives of U .S. Congresswomen Mary Kaptur and Representative David Joyce in recognition of their commitment in advancing urban forestry efforts in Ohio.

In recognition of the long-term partnership with Ohio’s Urban Forestry Assistance program, an award of appreciation was presented to the Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry. This productive partnership continues to support technical assistance, partnerships, outreach and on-the-ground improvements to trees and forests across the state. The award was accepted by Donna Marie Foster, landscape architect, Morgantown field office, on behalf of the Eastern Region, State and Private Forestry. Donna serves as the Federal Urban Forestry Coordinator for Ohio’s Urban Forestry Assistance program.

Tyler Stevenson, Ohio Division of Natural Resources’ Urban Forestry Coordinator, followed with a presentation titled “From Seed to Shade: 40 Years of State Urban Forestry.” The presentation was a chronological account of urban forestry efforts in Ohio from the beginning years of the early 1970s. With the signing of the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978, Ohio was able to formally establish its program in 1979. The forum recognized all those who have worked hard through the decades, including Ohio Division of Natural Resources Chief Dan Balsar, to make the urban forestry program as successful as it is now. The day included presentations from Jason Grabosky, Rutgers University, Dr. Greg Dahle, West Virginia University Urban Forestry Professor, and many other educational sessions delivered by Ohio Urban Forestry regional foresters and partners.

Ohio continues to deliver urban forestry assistance directly to communities through a network of professional urban foresters who work to build relationships and support the needs of Ohio’s volunteer Tree Commissioners, residents, public staff, natural resource professionals and local officials.