Nina Bassuk Receives Frederick Law Olmsted Award from Arbor Day Foundation

RELEAF 255Last fall, the NYSUFC nominated beloved Cornell Urban Horticulture Institute (UHI) Director and longtime former Council President Nina Bassuk for the Arbor Day Foundation’s Frederick Law Olmsted Award. Current Council President Andy Hillman read the award description and said, “This appears to have been written for Nina!”

The Frederick Law Olmsted award recognizes an outstanding individual with a lifelong commitment to tree planting and conservation at a state or regional level. Further, it honors someone who: shows outstanding personal commitment over their career or lifetime for the betterment of the environment, mobilizes people in tree planting and care, makes unique or extraordinary contributions and commitment with regards to tree planting, landscape, conservation, education, or research, and serves as a role model and mentor to others.

The Council is so very pleased to announce that Nina received the Frederick Law Olmsted Award for 2015. Here is a video the Arbor Day Foundation made about Nina’s work that shows why she was the perfect candidate:

It was challenging to summarize Nina’s accomplishments in the three pages indicated by the award nomination guidelines. Here are some highlights:

  • Thanks to Dr. Bassuk’s research and extension efforts in bare root transplanting technology, tens of thousands of trees have been planted in New York and the greater Northeast that would otherwise not have been. In 2014 alone, 8800 bare root trees were purchased by 93 municipalities across 11 states from Schichtel’s Nursery in Western NY.
  • Dr. Bassuk has been the City of Ithaca Shade Tree Advisory Committee Chair since 1985, and she served on the Ithaca Parks Commission from 1991-2003. She served as the President of the NYS Urban Forestry Council from 1990-2001 and thereafter as a Board Member.

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Urban Forestry Award Winners

The DEC recognized the Arbor Day Poster Contest winner, 5th Grader Annika Chang from John Mandracchia Sawmill Intermediate School in Commack, accompanied here by her parents and NYS Urban Forestry Program Manager Mary Kramarchyk (right).

State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens recognized award winners for their participation in urban forestry activities across the state at a ceremony held March 27, 2014 at the Downtown Albany Hilton Hotel. Communities and organizations meeting the standard requirements in the programs administered by DEC’s State Forester and the Arbor Day Foundation were recognized as a Tree City USA, Tree Campus USA, or a Tree Line USA.

The DEC contingent was at the 2014 Tree City, Tree Line, Tree Campus USA ceremony in support of the state’s urban forestry program and to recognize award winners. (L-R) Fran Sheehan, Lands and Forests Assistant Director; Bruce Williamson, Bureau Chief; Mary Kramarchyk, Program Manager; DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens, Sally Kellogg, Program Assistant and State Forester Robert Davies.

The Department also recognized the Arbor Day Poster Contest winner, 5th Grader Annika Chang from John Mandracchia Sawmill Intermediate School in Commack.

“Urban forestry volunteers, students and industry professionals contribute their knowledge to enhance and maintain tree canopy in cities, village, towns, parks, college campuses and other public places,” said Commissioner Martens.

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