Tree Commission formed

Tree City USA® lgo.

Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Press release, issued Friday, April 24, 2009:

Tree Commission Announced and Fort Wayne Receives Tree City USA® Recognition, Growth Award

Mayor Tom Henry was joined by Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Director Al Moll and 88 children from Cedar Canyon Elementary as they celebrated Arbor Day at Salomon Farm Park today.

Before the planting of the ceremonial tree, Mayor Henry announced his appointment of the City’s first community-wide Tree Commission.

“The Parks and Recreation Department has done an excellent job establishing the groundwork to maintain our urban forest,” said Mayor Henry. “There’s a structure in place, but it’s time to really focus on issues such as the Emerald Ash Borer Crisis and to come up with a 10-year plan for increasing and managing Fort Wayne’s Tree Canopy.”

The Commission’s objective is to perform a comprehensive review of the City’s urban forest and provide recommendations to Mayor Henry before the Great Tree Canopy Comeback in November, which will also take place at Salomon Farm Park.

The members are:

Carol Cavell, Trees Indiana
Jason Kissel, ACRES Land Trust

Karen Goldner, Fort Wayne City Council
Bill Brown, Allen County Council [sic, Allen County Commissioner]
Bill Diedrichs, Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation
Al Moll, Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation
Jeff Baxter, Allen County Parks
Karl Bandermer, Sturges Development Group
Tom Cain, City Planning Department
Dan Ernst, Earth Source
Julie Donnell, Friends of the Parks
Jeff Ling, Treemasters, Inc.
Ricky Kemmery, IPFW
Kevin Scott, Indiana Michigan Power
Kim Sabrosky, Indiana Michigan Power
Pone Vongphachanh, Fort Wayne Area Association of Realtors

Director Moll added to the celebration by announcing that Fort Wayne has been named a ‘Tree City USA’ for the 19th year in a row. This designation was earned for tree canopy stewardship and a continued commitment to a green city. In addition, Fort Wayne earned a Growth Award from the National Arbor Foundation, one of only 14 cities in the state to earn that distinction for a higher standard of forestry management of the Park’s 80,000 trees.

“The Growth Award is in recognition that Fort Wayne is working to make our tree canopy the very best it can be,” said Moll. “Our commitment to improve and maintain our green spaces helps us to attract people and businesses to our city for its quality of life.”

More information about Tree City USA can be found online. The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit, environmental, and education organization of nearly one million members, with a mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found online.

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