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Wisconsin’s urban forests.
Urban Forestry Council
Contact information
Sara Minkoff
Urban Forestry Council liaison

Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council2017 awards

The Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council presents annual awards to outstanding individuals, organizations, communities and tribes that further urban forestry in Wisconsin. The awards are announced each year at the annual Wisconsin Urban Forestry Conference and presented to winners in their community.

Sean Gere
Sean Gere

Distinguished Service: Sean Gere, Arborist

Sean Gere is recognized for contributions to urban forest health, safety of arborists and community education and awareness. Sean is a 6-time state champion climber, ISA certified arborist, arboriculture researcher/educator and owner of Gere Tree Care in Madison. He has been involved in research and teaching on topics related to tree care, urban ecosystems and safety for members of the tree care industry, and providing programming for community members to support his commitment to helping people and the environment exist together in mutually beneficial ways.

Popple Trail Project
Popple Trail Project

Project Partnership: Popple Trail Invasive Species Removal Project, Reedsburg

Popple Trail Invasive Species Removal Project, Reedsburg receives this award for demonstrating the value of partnerships between local businesses, service and recreational clubs, students, city government, nonprofit organizations and other community members working together to improve an urban corridor for increased recreational and educational opportunities. The impact of this project will benefit future generations and brought together community groups, building a deep sense of camaraderie and community among all participants and creating a place of beauty.

Adam Alves
Adam Alves
Adam Alves

Innovation in Urban Forestry: Adam Alves, Forestry Specialist, Dane County

Adam Alves is recognized for creating sustainable partnerships providing educational events around arboriculture including climbing events for kids of all abilities. Adam is a passionate and dedicated leader, connecting youth and professionals across Wisconsin to share knowledge and skills in urban forestry and to promote arboriculture as an exciting and viable career option. He has consistently motivated and engaged a wide range of urban tree care professionals to volunteer in their communities through partnerships with schools and organizations, many involving at risk or disabled youth.

Festival Foods grocery store under construction
Festival Foods grocery store completed

Innovation in Urban Forestry: WholeTrees Architecture and Structures

WholeTrees Architecture and Structures receives this award for their innovative use of whole urban local trees in the construction of Festival Foods at the Galaxie in Madison. WholeTrees, a Madison-based architectural design and building products company that brings low-value forest byproducts into high-value building markets, repurposes small-diameter round timbers into durable building materials with the distinctive visual character of whole trees. By making forest health more profitable, WholeTrees seeks to help make buildings stronger and healthy forests more abundant.

Dick Rideout
Dick Rideout
Dick Rideout

Lifetime Achievement: Dick Rideout, WI DNR Urban Forestry Partnerships and Policy Specialist (retired)

Dick Rideout receives this award for his career achievements promoting and improving urban forestry in Wisconsin, the Midwest and across the country. Dick worked as a University of Minnesota–Extension arboriculture specialist and as forestry technical services coordinator for the City of Milwaukee before being hired as Wisconsin's first urban forestry coordinator in 1990, retiring from this position in 2015. His involvement in professional organizations and collaborations with municipal, utility, nonprofit and commercial arborists helped to create support for urban forestry in Wisconsin and throughout the nation. His legacy includes such programs as the Urban Forestry Grants Program, Champion Tree Program and statewide engagement in the Tree City, Tree Line and Tree Campus Award programs and Arbor Day observances and activities.

Past recipients

Award recipients from previous years

Award categories

The Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council presents annual awards to outstanding individuals, organizations, communities and tribes that further urban forestry in Wisconsin. The awards are announced each year at the annual Wisconsin Urban Forestry Conference and presented to winners in their community. The five categories of awards are:

  1. Lifetime Achievement award recognizes outstanding contributions to urban forestry in Wisconsin demonstrated throughout a lifetime career.
  2. Distinguished Service award recognizes an individual for their outstanding contributions to urban forestry in Wisconsin.
  3. Project Partnership award recognizes outstanding projects that utilize partnerships as a means of providing services or benefits to the urban forest.
  4. Elected Official award recognizes an elected official at the county or local level of government who has made an outstanding recent contribution to urban forestry in Wisconsin. This could be a mayor, alderman, county executive, etc., who has gone above and beyond in their support. Wisconsin State Legislators who have made outstanding contributions to urban forestry will also be considered after they have completed their terms of office.
  5. Innovations in Urban Forestry award recognizes a community, individual, association or organization exhibiting outstanding innovations in the development or enhancement of an urban forestry project or program. This award recognizes the creativity, commitment and success of urban forestry efforts.

Nomination process

Nominations must be submitted by October 31 and include:

  • Suggested award category.
  • Name(s), address(es) and phone number(s) of the individual/organization, group, or project being nominated
  • Project name, if applicable.
  • Name(s), address(es) and phone numbers(s) of persons to be contacted regarding the nomination.
  • A description of the merits of the nominee or the achievements of the project or partnership. Include the goals/objectives of the project and detail the outcome or impact the action had on the community. Why you believe this nominee is deserving of the award? Feel free to attach any supporting documents (news clippings, photos, letters, etc.) that strengthen the nomination.

Please keep nominations to a maximum of two pages (not including attachments).

Nominations should be sent to the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council, PO Box 7921, Madison WI 53707 or can be emailed to For additional information, please contact a member of the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council member or regional urban forestry coordinator.

Last Revised: Thursday March 23 2017