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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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2015 Tree Inventory Volunteers of the Year

 The 2015 Portland street tree inventory season is complete.  There is no way we could have collected data on over 50,000 trees without the help of over 340 volunteers who dedicated 3,500 hours of their time to this project.  Urban Forestry held a Volunteer Celebration night on Thursday October 13, 2015 at Portland Mercado on SE Foster Road. We enjoyed delicious food, and recognized and thanked all the many project volunteers for their efforts.  Several volunteers were acknowledged with awards for their contributions. 

 2015 Tree Inventory Volunteers of the Year  
Catherine Clarke, a.k.a the Tree Champion of Roseway, earned the Best Team Leader award for the enormous amount of work she put into keeping her team organized.  Not only did Catherine attend inventory days and complete homework sections, she made buttons for her team, posted events on Next Door, and even made flyers in three different languages!  Following a busy inventory season, Catherine opted to enroll in the Neighborhood Tree Stewards program and is already hard at work planning a major improvement project for the Roseway Parks Blocks along NE 72nd Avenue.
Jonathan Brandt’s natural talent as a community organizer won him the Community “Inspirator” award, inspiring community members to get involved every step of the way. At every Mt. Scott-Arleta work day Jonathan could be found welcoming new volunteers, whether long-time residents of the community or individuals new to the neighborhood. He is active in his community and was always sharing resources with attendees, letting them know about upcoming events and available community resources.
Rookie of the Year went to JoAnne DiCarlo. She came into the project with very little background in tree ID, but she studied, took samples, and asked a lot of questions, and became an expert by the end! JoAnne, along with her husband Greg, came to all four Buckman workdays and completed 8 homework sections – together that’s about 20% of the entire neighborhood! We really could not have completed Buckman’s street tree inventory without JoAnne. Not only was she a dedicated data collector, she also entered 485 trees into the GIS database.
This year’s Diligence Award goes to Peggy Donovan.  Tree ID experts are so useful to the tree inventory project, but it’s important to remember everyone who knows something about trees at one point in their lives started out as a novice.  With a bit of encouragement and diligence, one volunteer can make significant accomplishments for our community and urban forest. Peggy started out as apprehensive team leader always responding to feedback whether it was about overhead powerlines, or maple ID.  Returning to work days in different neighborhoods bringing new samples to confirm tree ID, she displayed so much dedication to the inventory project and learning about trees!
Jeff King won the Go With The Flow Award. If we needed an additional hand at a workday, Jeff was always willing to show up and help out. Volunteer that might need some extra help had successful and fun work day experiences when paired with Jeff. He did a great job of making them feel welcome and helping them learn the ropes. Returning for his fourth year as a street tree inventory volunteer, Jeff was willing to help out in neighborhoods throughout the entire city, excited to learn trees in different parts of the city. Jeff really knew how to go with the flow, which is a great quality in a volunteer.
Volunteers who attended the King-Sabin work days may know that Legibility Award winner Maureen Raad is a committed member of the King-Sabin Tree Team. She attended all work days for her neighborhood, and accepted homework sections, and even hosted a work day at her home. She was great at tree ID, putting her landscape architecture and natural sciences skills to good use for the project. But with all she contributed, the award she earned is for her uncommonly tidy handwriting and exceptionally legible data sheets.  Data entry volunteers so much appreciate how easy Maureen made their job with her attention to detail!
Finally the 2015 Street Tree Inventory Golden DBH Tape Award went to the volunteer who best embodied the community spirit of the project.  Kyle Lempinen was one of this season’s most persistent GIS volunteers, though he also appeared in most of this year’s field inventory neighborhoods, always bringing his upbeat enthusiasm and positive energy to each work day. He consistently offered his time toward homework sections across the city, and even acted as the sole registrant in a couple of our ultimately canceled work days.  Kyle has acted in every role available to the project, from collection to entry, and up until the end dedicated his time and efforts toward this year’s intense inventory season.  Read our interview with Kyle for more information on what his drive to volunteer and what he loves about the street tree inventory project.