Bill Naito Community Trees Award

Sweetgum trees changing color in fall.
The Bill Naito Community Trees Award recognizes our neighbors who have worked tirelessly to care for, protect, and advocate for our community’s trees. Nominate your community's hard-working tree people today!

Did you know? The sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) was UFC founder and commisioner Bill Naito's favorite tree!

2021 Bill Naito Community Trees Award

A woman standing in a forest hold up a large cone from a sugar pine.

This year, the individual winner is Kyna Rubin. Kyna is a writer and naturalist and a years-long volunteer for trees. She is a founder of Trees for Life Oregon, a volunteer organization that advocates for large, long-lived trees and space for them in every part of the city. She founded the Irvington Tree Team and has been the Friends of Trees Irvington Neighborhood Coordinator.

As Trees for Life Oregon’s primary writer and editor, she translates for the public sometimes complex subjects such as trees and equity, tree preservation, the history and origin of Portland’s tree code, and tree code amendments. Her work convenes developers, planners, and tree lovers to discuss the nittygritty of how zoning and development impact the urban canopy.

Three women in safety vests stand next to an aerial lift truck, watching an arborist show them the ropes.

This year, the group winner is Wisdom of the Elders' Wisdom Workforce Development Internship Program. Wisdom’s unique training program provides a paid internship experience for Native American community members to learn job skills critical for work in the environmental sector. The program includes hands-on experiences with partner organizations, including Portland Parks & Recreation, to learn habitat restoration, tree planting and care, and more. Interns learn and apply Traditional Ecological Knowledge to their work. This holistic and specialized training program is the start of a meaningful environmental career pathway for participants.

Past Bill Naito Community Trees Award Recipients 


Portland's Urban Forestry Commission created the annual Bill Naito award in honor of the late builder and community leader who did so much to beautify Portland with trees. He rarely missed an Urban Forestry Commission meeting, which he founded in 1974 and chaired until his death.

Bill was especially devoted to Portland's trees. Through his humor, persistence and imaginative approach to projects, he inspired many individuals to recognize the beauty trees bring to our city.

The Bill Naito Award was created to honor the stories of individuals, organizations or projects that have continued Bill's work and reflect his dedication. Together, these stories weave a picture of our community's dedication to Portland's urban forest heritage.


This award recognizes those whose work, like Bill's, has enhanced Portland's urban forest and inspired others to recognize the beauty and benefits of trees. Specific projects that have creatively addressed the opportunities for tree planting or tree preservation are also eligible to receive an award.

Two awards are dedicated annually:

  • Individual
  • Groups or Institutions 

In order for the project to qualify, it needs to at least be close to completion. Work must be completed within the City of Portland.

How to Apply

Please complete the form to nominate an individual or group for the 2022 Bill Naito Community Trees Award (you may submit more than one nomination but please use a separate form for each).  Applications must be submitted by midnight on September 1, 2022. 

Apply Here

If you know of an individual or group whose work in tree planting, preservation, or stewardship should be considered for this special award, please submit an application.

The recipients of the Bill Naito award should be an individual or group whose volunteer work* is recognized by the community. The application must include a one-page story about the nominee, showing their innovative and creative approaches, diligent commitment, and community involvement or community-wide impact.

*Volunteer work: voluntary work where the individual or group’s actions are done without pay or obligation, and not as a part of their employment. 

About Portland Parks & Recreation UrbanForestry

Close-up image of the cone of a Douglas-fir tree.

The mission of PP&R’s Urban Forestry (UF) division is to manage and care for Portland's tree infrastructure in the City for current and future generations. Portland’s urban forest consists of 220,000 street trees, 1.2 million park trees, and innumerable private property trees. The Urban Forestry division is involved in managing or regulating these trees. UF created and implements the City of Portland's Urban Forest Management Plan, fosters community tree awareness and stewardship, develops tree policies and programs, monitors and assesses Portland’s urban forest, and issues permits for planting, pruning, and removal of public and some private trees. During extreme weather at all times of the year, UF crews respond to tree emergencies to keep you safe and the City moving.

For more information on Urban Forestry at