Arbor Day Award Winner Highlights: Champion of Trees Public Service Award

Each year the Arbor Day Foundation recognizes outstanding individuals, environmental leaders, and innovative organizations for their sustainable conservation efforts on an international, national, state and community level through the Arbor Day Awards Program. The 2014 Arbor Day Awards were presented April 26 at the Lied Lodge and Conference Center in Nebraska City. During May we’ll highlight the award winners.

Champion of Trees Public Service Award—Mayor Barbara Bass:

Presented for the innovative, strategic, and/or pioneering collaborative efforts of organizations to advance forestry efforts on a local, state, national, or international level.

Mayor Bass and husband Billy plant a tree on the Arbor Day Farm.

Mayor Bass and husband Billy plant a tree on the Arbor Day Farm. Photo by Carrie Benes.

Mayor Bass’ commitment to growing the city of Tyler, TX urban tree canopy is evident through her work. Within one year of serving in office, Mayor Bass earned Tyler official Tree City USA status for the first time in 2009.

 “We want to make sure we’re continuing to replace, grow, and protect the wonderful greenery we have here in Tyler and the beautiful urban forest,” Mayor Bass said.

Long-time Tyler resident, Judith Guthrie, stated that:  “Without the Mayor’s commitment to trees in Tyler, the community would never have achieved Tree City USA status.  We like to say that the true meaning of life is to plant a tree under whose shade you never expect to sit.  The Mayor has given a gift to future generations of Tylerites of shade under which to sit.  We are all grateful for her vision and leadership.”

In 2010, Mayor Bass announced the Tree Tyler Initiative—a campaign to plant 5,000 trees in 5 years. As of February 2013, the city has planted more than 5,500 trees. Mayor Bass serves as an example of the accomplishments communities can achieve when urban forestry becomes a key priority.

Are you aware of an outstanding individual or organization that is an exemplary steward of our Earth?  If so, please consider nominating them for our 2015 Arbor Day Awards.


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