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.
Presented by the Urban Forestry Commission (UFC), the Naito Awards honor an Individual and a Group that exemplify the spirit of Bill Naito, founder of the UFC and champion of our urban forest.
Winner of the Individual Award: Tom Ralley
Tom has been a dedicated volunteer to Lent school for the past 16 years, expanding into caring for trees following the planting of 77 trees for Arbor Day in 2007, as well as the three Learning Landscapes plantings that have occurred there since.
For those who don’t know, Lent school is a dual language school in an area of Portland that is low-income and low-canopy. Tom has not only cared for the trees himself but has shared his knowledge and time with our Youth Conservation Tree Crew to learn tree establishment care.
Tom has been a wonderful steward of the urban forest in his efforts to not only care for trees, but to recognize the need to teach younger generations to continue the care for years to come. Thank You.
Winner of the Group Award: The Canopy Stories Filmmakers
Earlier this summer, after two years in the making, an anthology of short films was screened in both Portland and Manzanita to an audience of 1366 people. This documentary series highlighted many of the great historical trees in Portland, as well as the challenges to growing an equitable urban forest in our city. This was NW Documentary's first anthology film project, featuring the work of ten local filmmakers who each took inspiration from a tree to tell a story, all on volunteer time. This group of filmmakers provided an accessible vehicle to share their inspiring stories with Portlanders and provided a call to action for everyone to do more towards raising awareness of why our city's trees are vital to our collective wellbeing and the importance of protecting them. Thank You.
The Urban Forestry Commission created this annual award in honor of the builder and community leader who did so much to beautify Portland with trees. Bill Naito rarely missed an Urban Forestry Commission meeting, which he founded in 1974 and chaired until his death. No one in Portland had been more tenacious than Bill at encouraging the planting of 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 Community Trees Award is presented to individuals, organizations or projects that have continued Bill's work and reflect his dedication.
For more information, please contact: UFVolunteers@portlandoregon.gov.