Congratulations to the 2015 Volunteer Award Winners!



 

  Volunteer Award

Dr. George North from Allison, Iowa
Dr. North has been promoting the planting and care of trees in Allison since 1992, as a member of both the Park and Tree Boards. He helped spearhead the development of Wilder Park, a 78-acre park that includes over 14,000 trees, several acres of prairie, trails, two ponds, camping, and a mini arboretum. Through his participation in Trails Visioning, he has helped promote the Rolling Prairie Bike Trail in Butler County, and has also been a participant in Stewards of the Beautiful Land classes. Congratulations and well deserved George!
  Volunteer Award

Phyllis Menke from Fonda, Iowa (not pictured)
Phyllis Menke is a tenacious leader who works hard to improve Fonda and has written and been awarded several grants to do projects in town. The city has been involved in several Trees Forever programs, including Community Visioning, Black Hills Power of Trees, and Iowa’s Living Roadways Projects. Her drive and commitment to trees and natural areas is evident as she advocates for the outdoors and the role of nature in health.
 
  Volunteer Award

Jon & Ann Schneckloth –Charles City, Iowa
Ann and Jon have been longtime advocates for trees and natural areas for decades. In 2014 they participated in the Working Watersheds: Buffers & Beyond program and hosted a fantastic field day on their property. In addition to the field days, nature walks, educational events, and one-on-one conversations with other landowners, Ann and Jon truly believe in conservation and speaking for the trees, advocating and talking to others about these important issues. Congratulations Ann & Jon!

 
  Volunteer Award

Alan Snyder from Aledo, Illinois (not pictured)
Alan had implemented three Illinois Buffer Partnership projects on his property focused on water quality and pollinator projects on his farm. He is a great steward of the land, implementing conservation practices that will improve water quality, wildlife habitat, and the surrounding environment and promoting it to others who are interested in doing something on
their property.
  Volunteer Award

Michael Watson of  Dunlap, Illinois
Mike helped lead efforts to get trees replanted in Washington, Illinois after the November 2013 tornado devastated the community. Being a former Washington resident and having friends and family who lived through the tornado, Mike wanted to do something to help replace the trees that had been lost, as insurance replaced houses but not landscaping and trees.
Eventually four hundred trees were donated and nearly 50 volunteers came forward to help plant. Mike has become an instrumental member on the Washington Tree Board, helping to recruit volunteers and coordinate future tree-planting events. Congratulations Mike!
    Legacy Volunteer Award

Rita Sealock of Council Bluffs, Iowa (not pictured), for her long-term leadership of Council Bluffs Trees Forever. Rita is also a former Trees Forever board member. She worked with the Trees Forever programs through Mid American Energy, Peoples Natural gas - Aquila - Black Hills Energy and was integral to numerous plantings being successfully planted within the community of Council Bluffs.

 
  Partner Award

Villisca Lions Club
Villisca participated in Community Visioning in 2012, and has since completed several of their proposed projects, including new entryway signage, a disc golf course, street tree and residential plantings, and a community garden and orchard, with the Villisca Lions Club the driving force behind most of these projects. Along the way they have participated in Branching Out and Iowa’s Living Roadways Projects. The club involves volunteers from all over the community in their many projects
 
  Partner Award

Rod Marlatt – Fayette County Conservation Board, Iowa
Rod has been involved with many Trees Forever programs in Fayette County, including Community Visioning and Stewards of the Beautiful Land. Most recently Rod has been a major mover and shaker of Trails Visioning projects. Working with local partners and neighboring County Conservation Board Directors, Rod has been a tireless advocate for trails as a means of accessing and enjoying the natural resources of Northeast Iowa. He recognizes the economic impact accessible and enjoyable outdoor recreation opportunities can have on small towns. Thanks Rod for always promoting Trees Forever to anyone you think would benefit from our programs.
  Partner Award

Ann Smeltzer Charitable Trust of Fort Dodge, Iowa

The Ann Smeltzer Charitable Trust is the legacy of nature lover Ann Smeltzer, who left an estate that included land to be used for educational purposes. The result is a learning farm with over 18 different conservation practices that showcase the many ways to protect and enhance our water, soil, and air resources. The trust has participated in Trees Forever’s Working Watersheds: Buffers and Beyond and Iowa Pollinator Conservation Habitat initiatives. They work hard to organize events and to ensure the mission of the trust continues for years to come.
  Partner Award

Black Hills Energy Poster Contest
Seventh graders from across Iowa were asked to create posters focusing on the role of trees play in energy efficiency. Three winners were selected, with major tree-plantings later held at the schools of the winners. The poster contest has been very helpful in reaching out to schools, and it has been really fun seeing all the creative ways to illustrate trees and energy efficiency.
 
  Media Award

Iowa Public Radio  - with special mention of Charity Nebbe & Richard Jauron
Iowa Public Radio has featured Trees Forever staff members as on-air guests on numerous occasions over the past years. By allowing Trees Forever to discuss topics including the value and benefits of tree plantings, the importance of diversity, and programs such as  Stewards of the Beautiful Land classes and our water quality and agroforestry efforts, Iowa Public Radio has been a great partner in helping Trees Forever make our communities greener, healthier places to live. Thanks Iowa Public Radio, and together we are educating each other!

 
  Media Award

Brett Van Waus of Nevada, Iowa
Brett worked for the Nevada Journal/Tri-County Times and did extensive coverage of Community Visioning in Huxley. Attending many of the Visioning meetings himself, including the public presentation, Brett continued to write stories even after Visioning was completed. Through his consistent and inspiring reporting, Brett kept everyone in the community updated on what was happening throughout the Visioning process. Thanks for great report and congratulations, Brett!

 
  Outstanding Youth or Youth Project

Brandon Egger from Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Brandon successfully applied for funding through Trees Forever and Alliant Energy’s Branching Out program and then completed a tree-planting project at Cleveland Elementary School. The school experienced storm damage a few years ago and lost many mature trees from the campus, and he designed a project to replace many of those trees. Brandon helped teach others how to plant and care for trees and plans to personally help oversee their maintenance for years to come, with the help of his fellow scouts from Troop 5200. We are confident that Brandon will carry the mission of Trees Forever with him throughout his life.
  Outstanding Youth or Youth Project

Girl Scout Troop 2115, from Donahue, Iowa

Troop 2115 partnered with Trees Forever’s Working Watersheds program and the local sportsman club to plan and install a buffer along a local stream within the city park. Troop 2115 first planned a multiphase planting project, and then completed two plantings, partnering with the local Boy Scout troop for the first planting and the local National Honor Society for the second planting. This group of future leaders in Donahue has demonstrated a great appreciation for community service, natural resource protection, and having fun with partner groups.

 
  Advocate Award

Reinee Hildebrandt, Illinois State Urban Forestry Coordinator with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Reinee has assisted Trees Forever with recruitment of communities for the Illinois Emerald Ash Borer program, served as a steering committee member for Illinois TreeKeepers, and taught TreeKeepers classes. Following the devastation by a tornado in Washington, Iowa, she helped organize a tree board and conduct a tree inventory, worked with a nursery to select species for trees they were donating, and participated in the replanting. Congratulations Reinee!
 
  Advocate Award

David Jahn, City Arborist with the City of Des Moines
David and the entire Des Moines Forestry Division have dedicated thousands of hours to the Des Moines TreeKeepers volunteer program. David helped Trees Forever begin the program and develop the curriculum, and co-teaches the TreeKeepers classes with Leslie Berckes. David helps organize tree care work days throughout Des Moines, and is always willing to help volunteers plant trees, prune, and mulch. He cheerfully refers volunteers to the Trees Forever TreeKeepers program, and with his help we have over 140 volunteers trained and many returning for future community service. Congratulations David!

 
  President's Award

Marty Andreas
Marty first helped Trees Forever launch the Illinois Buffer Partnership over 15 years ago. Then a top executive with ADM, Marty brought enthusiasm and lots of time, resources and energy to our project. After retiring, Marty moved back to Iowa and has since served on the Trees Forever board of directors and foundation for almost 10 years. Most recently, Marty made a major challenge gift to the Trees Forever Planting A Better Tomorrow Endowment Campaign.  Thanks for all you’ve done for Trees Forever, Marty!


 
  President's Award

Jo Ann McNiel
Jo Ann has connected Trees Forever to folks like Ann Linnea, who included us in the book, Keepers of the Trees. She has helped Trees Forever with Organizational Effectiveness and most recently, coordinated the Our Woodland Legacy Symposiums. She works behind the scenes on committees and commissions, always with thoroughness and dedication. Thanks for your huge impact on Trees Forever!
  President's Award

Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture
From extensive support at the National Bear Creek Demonstration Site to local foods reporting like the history of apple production in Iowa, The Leopold Center has had a huge impact on the quality of life and food in Iowa and even internationally. When the Bear Creek research project began, the Leopold Center had the vision to set up interdisciplinary teams, which is really what made the Bear Creek project stand out as the leading site in the United States on the importance of trees, shrubs and grasses for improving water quality.