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Mac Award

The Mac Award recognizes individuals, organizations and businesses that have made a significant, positive impact on Vancouver’s urban forest.

Activities worthy of recognition include organizing a tree planting project, educating others about the benefits of trees or proper tree care, preserving trees during land development, donating time and/or funds to advance the mission of the Urban Forestry program, developing creative partnerships in community forestry, or any other activity that inspires community stewardship of the urban forest.

Volunteers at the Arbor Day event, where Mac Awards are annually awarded.

A lifelong volunteer, Gordon MacWilliams joined the Urban Forestry Commission in 2002. He continued to forge new partnerships within the community and guided updates to tree ordinances to protect more of our communities’ trees. Gordon devoted much of his time to protecting and preserving trees throughout the community. Gordon’s wonderful wife, Sylvia, continues to share Gordon’s love for trees and service to the community. Gordon and Sylvia are true tree heroes through their many contributions to our community, especially their impact on Vancouver’s Urban Forest. The Urban Forestry Commission is proud to name the tree hero award after the MacWilliams.

The annual Mac Award is given by the Urban Forestry Commission during the second Wednesday of each April at the City of Vancouver’s Arbor Day celebration.

Nominations must be received by the SECOND TUESDAY of MARCH for consideration.

2023 Mac Award Winner

Toree Hiebert has been an educator, gardener and naturalist for 25 years. She is a Certified Professional Horticulturist and has taught Horticulture and Natural Resource Conservation classes at Fort Vancouver High School for 10 years. During this time she has spread her love of trees, native plants, and being a good steward of the planet to over 1,500 students! At the school Toree manages a ½ acre garden and greenhouse, where she guides students as they grow and manage plants. The students coordinate and operate the annual school plant sale each spring. 

During her decade of teaching at Fort, Toree has opened her classroom to Urban Forestry and exposed and her many students to plant and prune trees throughout Vancouver, literally growing the urban forest. Urban Forestry has gone into the classroom over the years to share about benefits of trees and tree biology, how to be stewards of our urban forest, and careers in the green industry

Outside of the classroom her passion lies at the intersection of rewilding land and people through the experience of connections with wild plants and wild places. She is currently working on starting a native plant nursery and restoring 20 acres of forest and a salmon bearing creek in North Clark County.

2022 Mac Award Winners

Quentin Welch has been a protector of trees throughout the Lincoln neighborhood. When street trees were planted along 39th Street in 2011, Quentin took it upon himself to water the 4 Rocky Mountain Glow Maples, hauling 5-gallon buckets of water in his pickup, a practice he continues to this day. He painted the trunks to make them more visible to drivers and mourned the recent loss of the western-most tree (to a careless vehicle) with a sign exclaiming “WHY?”

Quentin took action when vandals pulled out several newly planted street trees near the water tower on Washington Street. Quentin carefully replanted them. The trees are doing well now, but they wouldn’t have made it without Quentin.

Jeff Kessenich is a dedicated, longtime volunteer with programs throughout the community. He is very active and really shows up, whether with a group or on his own time. To name just a few things Jeff stays busy with: he prunes, weeds, picks up litter, plants, talks with neighbors, and is a true voice for trees in the community. 

Jeff participated in the 2018 Tree Steward training series with Urban Forestry and has continued to be a committed volunteer. Over the years he has become skillful at pruning young trees, attending several workshops, and becoming a tree pruning lead with Friends of Trees and Urban Forestry. 

Jeff is talented at GIS mapping and eager about eradicating Tree of Heaven. The intersection of these interests poises Jeff as a go-to contact for Tree of Heaven management information in the community. Jeff does outreach to property owners, helps to identify the wildly invasive trees, provides management recommendations, and maps the tree locations for the statewide database. 

Jeff is truly interested and dedicated to ensuring our community spaces are safe, healthy, and green for us all. Thank you, Jeff, for your generous stewardship of our Urban Forest. 

Kurt Koenig knows how to roll up his sleeves, dig in, and get work done. Specifically, work that not many other Vancouverites want to bother with. Kurt is a dedicated, enthusiastic driver in helping keep aggressive, unwanted plants away from Vancouver’s beloved Old Apple Tree and along the Confluence Land Bridge. He has participated in numerous work parties on the Land Bridge and spends time, from start to finish, on project needs, even coming back on his own to finish the jobs off.  Kurt has spent several years volunteering to remove invasives from Cougar Creek park, an un-developed parcel that is part of the county system. Prior to that he volunteered at Foley Park when the orchard was just beginning to be reclaimed. There he did some pruning, but also cleared weeds

2021 Mac Award Winner

The Urban Forestry Program is proud to award the Urban Youth Program and Johnie Tucker the 2021 Mac Award. This program is building the next generation of environmental stewardship leaders in our community.

Now housed with Vancouver Parks and Recreation, the Urban Youth Program is a local, grassroots youth empowerment program that engages underserved middle and high school youth in environmental stewardship, volunteerism, leadership, teambuilding, and life skills.

Program mentors support youth from across our community by participating in outdoor opportunities across the region, including fishing, hiking, and camping while learning teamwork and leadership skills.

The Urban Youth Program has partnered with Urban Forestry since 2006 to celebrate Black History Month by planting trees at local parks and open spaces. This partnership has grown over the years and now includes other events and partnerships, such as the annual Earth Day cleanup at the Land Bridge.

Johnie Tucker is a key longtime leader and mentor of the Urban Youth Program and key to the program’s success in supporting generations of youth and introducing them our natural world.

2020 Mac Award Winner

Scott Clifton is a true professional in the tree care industry. He is committed to the care of trees and educating his clients and the public about the importance of trees. Scott has been in the tree care industry for over 30 years and his knowledge and passion are extraordinary.

Combining his vast knowledge of trees, his passion to educate, his generosity and his engaging nature, Scott regularly volunteers to teach tree workshops hosted by Urban Forestry. Through this volunteerism, he is able to pass on his expertise to homeowners that have questions or concerns about their trees but aren’t sure where to begin. 

Scott is especially passionate about mentoring the next generation of tree care professionals and eagerly engages with the younger generation to pass on his love for trees. 

A dedicated volunteer and educator, Scott helps organize the Pacific Northwest International Society of Arboriculture Tree Climbing Competition in Vancouver, a regional conference that brings professionals in the tree care industry together to learn from one another.

Scott is a true tree hero. He is a hero for the trees, to our community and for the next generation.

2019 Mac Award Winners

Allen Wilson is a veritable ‘walking encyclopedia of horticulture’ who shares his vast knowledge with us all. Allen is a longtime volunteer, supporter, and proponent of greening our neighborhoods. Perhaps best known for his regular column in the Columbian, Gardening with Allen, he is a gardening specialist with a wealth of knowledge over a 50-year career. Through this popular column, Allen educates the public and shares advice and solutions on gardening, landscaping, horticulture and arboriculture.

In addition to being an expert in our yards and gardens, Allen is a longtime volunteer with the city’s Urban Forestry program as a Neighborhood Tree Steward and Friends of Trees as a Neighborhood Coordinator and tree planter.

Allen has a full resume of advocating and educating for healthy trees and landscapes across the region, which we are grateful for.

Reggie Frumkin served two years as an AmeriCorps member with Urban Forestry; truly an example of giving back through service. With AmeriCorps, Reggie is a full-time volunteer who cares for the urban forest and supports tree stewardship across Vancouver. Many of you likely know Reggie, whether it’s planting trees, pruning trees, or talking about trees, he’s been helping trees and their people in every neighborhood in Vancouver. Reggie has a true passion for trees, which you learn quickly once you meet him. Fellow AmeriCorps member Josef Judy nominated Reggie for this award. As Josef pointedly stated in his nomination, ‘Reggie’s love and respect for trees is contagious, and he is truly a joy to work with.’

2018 Mac Award Winners

  • Derya Ruggles 
  • Mark and Patti Maggiora 

2017 Mac Award Winners

  • Ross Montgomery
  • Dave Wannamaker
  • Tim Carper

2016 Mac Award Winners

  • Jonathan and Debora Thomas
  • Louise, Murdoch, and Nora Angus

2015 Mac Award Winners

  • Brian French
  • Don Cannard
  • Susan Bluestein

2014 Mac Award Winners

  • Amy Sidran
  • Washington Conservation Corps Crewmembers

2013 Mac Award Winners

  • Bob Rowe
  • Alex Bruyevicz
  • Melissa Tiefenthaler

2012 Mac Award Winners

  • Bill Woodard
  • Ken and Joy Olsen
  • Gary Bock
  • Grace Teigen and Gene Wigglesworth
  • Oliver Sasse
  • Jim Wasden

2011 Mac Award Winners

  • Becky Archibald
  • Alexander Chabert
  • Greenway-Sensitive Lands Team 
  • Lee Coulthard

2010 Mac Award Winners

  • Duane Northrup
  • Susan Sanders
  • Cynthia Thornton-Tang
  • Old Apple Tree Research Team
  • Susan Dolan, National Parks Service Preservation Landscape Architect
  • Bob Cromwell, National Parks Service Archeologist
  • Lyle Feilmeir, Master Arborist with Collier Arbor Care
  • John Buttrell, Arborist/Owner, Arborscape
  • Joe Beaudoin, Orchardist, Joe’s Farms
  • Terry Toland, Urban Forestry Commissioner