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Texas Community Forestry Awards

Texas A&M Forest Service presents 2020 Texas Community Forestry Awards

Texas A&M Forest Service and the Texas Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture recognized the Texas Community Forestry Award winners at the Texas Arbor Day celebration in Harker Heights, Texas, on November 6 this year.

“The awards recognize the best of the best in the world of arboriculture and community forestry in Texas,” said Urban and Community Forestry Program Leader Paul Johnson. “Having industry partners recognize people, projects, and programs helps to elevate and motivate the industry as a whole.”

The 2020 Texas Arborist of the Year was Susan Henson.

Each year, the Forest Service awards an outstanding individual the Texas Arborist of the Year award, recognizing their contributions to arboriculture and community forestry. We evaluate the nominees for their leadership, commitment, innovation, impact, and sustainability in the field.

“Henson is a long-time supporter of quality arboriculture and has promoted trees in the many jobs, teaching and leadership positions she has held in her community, region, and Texas,” said Johnson.

Starting in 1976, she worked on the City of Fort Worth landscape production crew and established the city’s first tree nursery. Recently, Henson retired from the City of Grand Prairie, where she managed the horticulture crew that grew, planted, and maintained over 10,000 square feet of annual beds, municipal grounds, medians, and ROW to include trees and shrubs.

The Forest Service gave the 2020 Award for Outstanding Landscape Improvement to the Heritage Park of Flower Mound.

This award recognizes individuals, organizations, or municipalities that have made significant contributions through tree planting, care, and landscaping, enhancing environmental protection, conservation, beautification, energy conservation, or wildlife protection with substantial impact over the years.

The Heritage Park of Flower Mound is an 82-acre community park built in four phases between 2012 and 2019. Heritage Park has become a family-friendly hot spot for picnics, birthday parties, playgroups, family reunions, award-winning outdoor education programs, classes, and special events.

The Arboricultural Project of the Year Award recipient was From Tree to Urban Forest Health – Austin’s Urban Forest Health Program.

The Arboricultural Project of the Year Award recognizes specific tree care, protection, or planting project that exemplifies modern arboricultural practices and customer service.

Austin’s Urban Forest Health Program uses an innovative approach to manage forest health at the municipal level. The project provides residents up-to-date information about proper tree care. It helps them organize their response to diseases and taps into local communication channels to help neighbors take ownership of their local urban forest and diversify their approach to managing their trees.

The Outstanding Arbor Day Award recipient was Keep Lewisville Beautiful Arbor Day Tree Plantings.

This award recognizes individuals, organizations, or municipalities that have promoted Arbor Day through special projects, ceremonies, news articles, or observations with an Arbor Day theme.

Keep Lewisville Beautiful, and the City of Lewisville Parks Department work together each year to host special Arbor Day activities by hosting public Arbor Day events and tree plantings that engage community volunteers. Each year, the town celebrates two Arbor Day events annually that combine plantings with education and public awareness.

Award recipients were given a framed, limited edition, remarked print of a famous Texas tree by artist Ronnie Wells from Salado, Texas, for their outstanding achievement.