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For Release: Thursday, March 28, 2013

DEC Recognizes Urban Forestry Award Winners

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens recognized award winners participating in urban forestry activities across the state today at a ceremony held at the Holiday Inn Express in Albany, New York. Communities and organizations meeting the USDA Forest Service standard requirements were recognized in the programs administered by DEC's State Forester and the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City U.S.A, Tree Campus U.S.A. or a Tree Line U.S.A.

"Urban forestry volunteers, students and industry professionals contribute their knowledge to enhance and maintain tree canopy in cities, village, towns, parks, college campuses and other public places," said Commissioner Martens. "Trees help keep our business districts attractive while contributing the environmental benefits of cleaning the air and water and saving energy by providing wind breaks in the winter and shade from the summer heat."

Among the communities receiving recognition for the Tree City U.S.A. program are Buffalo; Rochester, Syracuse; Albany; Poughkeepsie; New York City and the Town of Babylon. A complete list of communities with this honor is posted on DEC's website.

In addition to these recognitions, Commissioner Martens presented the DEC Urban Forestry Partnership Awards to the following:

  • Betsy Henry of Schenectady for outstanding education contribution;
  • Christian Mercurio of the City of Rome for his continuing commitment to environmental sustainability; and
  • SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry President, Cornelius "Neil" Murphy for his continuing support of forestry, his achievements to continuous improvements to the educational resources for forestry students and his partnership with Syracuse University in achieving Tree Campus U.S.A. status.

The Arbor Day Poster Contest winner, 5th Grader Tari Civerolo from Castleton Elementary School, was also in attendance.

To participate in any of the Urban and Community Forestry Programs, contact DEC's Bureau of Private Lands Services at 518-402-9425. For more information on the Urban and Community Forestry programs, visit DEC's website.

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