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Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council Annual Awards

2023 awards

The Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council presents annual awards to outstanding individuals, organizations, communities and tribes that further urban forestry in Wisconsin. The awards are announced each year at the annual Wisconsin Urban Forestry Conference and presented to winners in their local communities.

Lifetime Achievement

Images of John Gall, a man with a filled out beard

Award winner: John Gall

John Gall was recognized with this lifetime achievement award for assisting dozens of communities and entities in enhancing their urban forestry. He served on the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council from 2005-2013, among many other affiliations, and is a three-time award recipient through the Wisconsin Arborist Association.

In Fox Point, John Gall spearheaded the Village’s first official tree inventory in 2009, ensuring it's updated every five years. He has coordinated grants and volunteers to improve Indian Creek woods and forestry. John coordinates a kid’s climb with WAA during Fox Point’s annual open house, which exposes children to urban forestry and allows them to harness up and climb tall trees to experience a day in the life of an urban forester. His impact will endure, and his work will continue to provide multiple benefits to the residents of Fox Point.

Innovations in Urban Forestry

Pictures of Marty's playspace, an outdoor recreational area for kids

Award winner: Mequon Nature Preserve's Marty's Playspace

The Mequon Nature Preserve (MNP) received this award in recognition of its work to increase environmental consciousness with novel ways to repurpose the remnants from these restoration efforts. They created Marty’s Playspace, a nature-made playground that uniquely promotes the green movement for children of all ages. This project culminated in a final product even greener than initially planned, upcycling dead and invasive trees on an underutilized space to create a playspace close to MNP’s education center and parking lot and easily visible to new and curious guests. The continued success of this initiative cements MNP’s originality and prospects for future innovations.


Images of John Wayne Farber

Award winner: John Wayne Farber

John Wayne Farber, Director of Operations at Hoppe Tree Service, was presented with the Leadership Award for his leadership in community urban forestry management. He is a board-certified Master Arborist and has dedicated himself to being a true professional and leading arborist. His subject matter expertise was critical to the improvements made to the Wisconsin Registered Arborist Apprenticeship when it was revised in its second rendition. This award recognizes his leadership in urban forestry through his work with the Student Society of Arboriculture, volunteerism with the Wisconsin Arborist Association and the International Society of Arboriculture, and service as a board-certified Master Arborist. He has created a legacy improving the safety and training of arborists in Wisconsin and beyond.

Past recipients

Award recipients from previous years

Award categories

The Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council presents annual awards to outstanding individuals, organizations, communities, and tribes that further urban forestry in Wisconsin. The awards are announced each year at the annual Wisconsin Urban Forestry Conference and presented to winners in their community.

There are five categories of awards:

  1. Next Gen recognizes an organization or individual working to inspire and educate the next generation of citizens engaged with their urban forests through projects, activities, and a variety of additional contributions. These inspiring adults will support the future growth and development of the field by encouraging these youth to become the next generation of urban forestry professionals and its supporters. Eligible programs engage youth through age 18.
  2. Project Partnership recognizes outstanding projects that utilize partnerships as a means of providing services or benefits to the urban forest.
  3. Lifetime Achievement recognizes outstanding contributions to urban forestry in Wisconsin demonstrated throughout a lifetime career.
  4. Innovations in Urban Forestry recognizes a community, individual, association or organization exhibiting outstanding innovations in the development or enhancement of an urban forestry project or program. This award recognizes the creativity, commitment, and success of urban forestry efforts.
  5. Leadership recognizes an individual or elected official at the county or local level of government who has made an outstanding recent contribution to urban forestry in Wisconsin. This could be a mayor, alderman, county executive, or citizen, who has gone above and beyond in their support. Wisconsin State Legislators who have made outstanding contributions to urban forestry will also be considered after they have completed their terms of office.

Nomination process

Nominations for 2024 awards must be submitted by Oct. 31, 2023 and include:

  • Suggested award category.
  • Name(s), address(es) and phone number(s) of the individual/organization, group or project being nominated.
  • Project name, if applicable.
  • Name(s), address(es) and phone numbers(s) of persons to be contacted regarding the nomination.
  • A description of the merits of the nominee or the achievements of the project or partnership. Include the goals/objectives of the project and detail the outcome or impact the action had on the community. Why do you believe this nominee is deserving of the award? Feel free to attach any supporting documents (news clippings, photos, letters, etc.) that strengthen the nomination.

Please keep nominations to a maximum of two pages (not including attachments).

Send nominations to UFC Awards Committee Chairperson Lee Fredericks at

For additional information, please contact a Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council member or regional urban forestry coordinator.