Bill Naito Community Trees Award

Information
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!


How to Nominate

Please complete the form to nominate an individual or group for the 2023 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, 2023. 

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. 


2022 Bill Naito Community Trees Award

A volunteer in a yellow vest stands in a park holding a paper.

This year, the individual winner is Ginger Edwards. From the Arbor Lodge Tree Teams nomination: “Ginger Edwards is our community’s Lorax. Not only does she speak for trees, she speaks for parks and native species and pollinators and as a former police officer and social worker, the entire human-human and human-Other community that enfolds us all.

A person behind a display shows another group of people a tree.

The Arbor Lodge Tree Team works to plant, preserve, and promote trees in our neighborhood and beyond. Mainly, though, we are just people who like trees.  Ginger has guided, motivated, and ever-so-gently cajoled us into a group of volunteer “tree geeks” - increasingly cohesive, educated, and focused on the two branches of our tree mission: policy/advocacy/education and putting trees in the ground.

“The Lorax” story encourages personal care and involvement in making a situation better. Seuss writes: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Ginger is our Lorax.””

Volunteer school group removing ivy

This year, the group winner are the No Ivy League volunteers. Since 1994, No Ivy League has worked tirelessly to empower youth, educate the public, and remove English ivy from Portland's parks. No Ivy League's mission is to restore the native habitat of Forest Park and other natural areas with efforts in removing invasive plants, youth development programs, environmental education, and community participation - promoting research, providing technical assistance, and seeking relevant societal changes.

Invasive removal is not easy work, and the many volunteers of No Ivy League have done incredible work keeping Portland’s natural areas healthy.

Past Bill Naito Community Trees Award Recipients 


History

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.


Eligibility 

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.


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 portland.gov/trees.