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For Release: Thursday, March 27, 2014

NYSDEC Commissioner Martens Recognizes Urban Forestry Award Winners

State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens recognized award winners for their participation in urban forestry activities across the state at a ceremony held today at the Downtown Albany Hilton Hotel. Communities and organizations meeting the standard requirements in the programs administered by DEC's State Forester and the Arbor Day Foundation were recognized 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 beautiful while contributing many benefits including cleaning the air and water and saving energy dollars by providing wind breaks in the winter and shade from the summer heat."

Tree City USA is a program sponsored by The National Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service and the state forestry agencies. It provides direction, technical assistance, public attention and national recognition for urban and community forestry programs in thousands of towns and cities that more than 93 million Americans call home.

Among the New York communities that received the Tree City USA program recognition are Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, Poughkeepsie, New York City and the Town of Babylon. A complete list of all communities is posted on DEC's website.

In addition to community awards, the urban forestry program recognized two volunteers for their outstanding activities in 2013: Lori Brockelbank of Fredonia (Chautauqua County) for outstanding education contributions and Ann Stevens from the Town of Dewitt (Onondaga County) for her dedication to the Town's urban forestry program.

The Department also recognized the Arbor Day Poster Contest winner, 5th Grader Annika Chang from John Mandracchia Sawmill Intermediate School in Commack.

To participate in any of these New York State Urban and Community Forestry programs, contact DEC's Bureau of Private Lands Services at 518-402-9425.

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