Nebraska Communities to Participate in Forestry Conference, Tree City USA Awards April 2

East Campus pillars at enterance

March 18, 2013

LINCOLN, Neb. — Community representatives from across the state will meet for the Nebraska Community Forestry Conference and Tree City USA Recognition Awards April 2 at Lincoln's downtown Holiday Inn. The program allows communities to proudly show they care for Nebraska's trees.

The conference, titled "Planting Trees is in Our Roots," brings together experts in community forestry and community leaders interested in maintaining and promoting their community tree resources, according to Eric Berg, community forestry program leader with the Nebraska Forest Service at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

"This event celebrates the hard work of Nebraska community leaders and volunteers who devote thousands of hours to ensuring trees remain vital resources in their communities," Berg said. "Combined, 107 Tree City USA communities dedicated $6.6 million toward their efforts to plant new trees, remove diseased or dying trees, provide tree-planting and tree-maintenance education to schools and citizens, host workshops and encourage conservation."

The conference is for tree board members, city foresters, mayors, city administrators and community volunteers. Communities are welcome to bring several representatives.

Registration is from 8 to 9 a.m. Opening remarks and welcome will be by Berg and Lyle Minshull, chair of the Nebraska Community Forestry Council.

Workshop topics and speakers: "Community Forestry Inventories – Preparing Your Community for the Future," Adam Smith, forestry project coordinator, Nebraska Forest Service; "Building Sustainable Landscapes for Healthy Homes and Communities," Connie Paxton, administrator, and Bob Henrickson, horticulture program coordinator, Nebraska Statewide Arboretum; "Drought and Impacts on Tree Vigor and Community Forest Health," Dr. Mark Harrell, forest health program leader, Nebraska Forest Service; "Community Resource Management Opportunities," Amy Seiler and Graham Herbst, community forestry specialists, Nebraska Forest Service.

A morning break will allow participants to view exhibits.

The day also will include two award ceremonies. The first, during lunch, recognizes community forestry award winners.

Between the two ceremonies will be the Nebraska Community Forestry Council roundtable discussions from 1-2 p.m.

The second ceremony will be the Tree City USA Awards program. These awards recognize communities that meet the following criteria: have a city arborist or tree board, have a tree ordinance, spent $2 per capita for tree maintenance or tree education and celebrate Arbor Day.

Remarks will be made by Gov. Dave Heineman, First Lady Sally Ganem, Scott Josiah, state forester and director, Nebraska Forest Service, and Lyle Minshull.

Cost for the conference and lunch is $10. For more information about registration or lodging, visit or contact Jean Paff at 402-472-2733, or email

The event is sponsored by the Nebraska Forest Service, the Nebraska Community Forestry Council and ReTree Nebraska. The Nebraska Forest Service is part of the UNL Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Eric Berg
Community Forestry Program Leader
Nebraska Forest Service

Sandi Karstens
IANR News Service

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