Vegetation Management (Property & Facilities Management) - July 11, 2017
Winston-Salem has been named North Carolina's Tree City USA of the Year for 2017 by the North Carolina Forest Service, in recognition of the city’s ongoing program to promote and protect its urban forest, and in particular for its efforts to educate homeowners and utilities about proper tree maintenance.
Winston-Salem was selected from among the nine North Carolina municipalities that were eligible for the award by virtue of having received a Growth Award in 2016 from Tree City USA. Entries were judged for impact, quality, innovation and the degree to which the work serves as a worthy example for others to follow, said Nancy Stairs, the urban forestry program coordinator for the N.C. Forest Service.
"We are glad to recognize Winston-Salem, as the city has maintained a stable and steady urban forestry program over the years, which is pretty important in itself," Stairs said. Specifically, the judges were impressed by three city initiatives during 2016 to improve the maintenance of its urban forest: A brochure and video for homeowners about trees in the right-of-way; a hands-on tree-pruning workshop for the Washington Park neighborhood; and a working relationship with AT&T on proper pruning standards to follow during utility upgrades and maintenance.
Keith Finch, the city’s director of vegetation management, said the award affirms the city's efforts to promote and protect trees. "This award is the result of a lot of hard work and dedication from the urban forestry staff of Vegetation Management," he said, "and also of the cooperation and support of the citizens."
Winston-Salem has been a Tree City USA community for 17 consecutive years and received its sixth Growth Award from Tree City USA in 2016. The Growth Award encourages communities to participate in activities that recognize environmental improvement, encourage higher levels of tree care, and strengthen community involvement.
Winston-Salem will be recognized at the N.C. Urban Forest Council’s 2017 Annual Conference awards luncheon on Sept. 15 in Raleigh.
Learn more: Vegetation Management division