Local News

Local late tree champion recognized for commitment to protecting forests

Several Vermont tree champions have been honored by the Vermont Urban and Community Forestry Program (VT UCF) for their staunch commitment and dedication to protecting and preserving their community’s forests and trees.

In addition to the prestigious Vermont Arbor Day award, given to an individual who has made a significant difference in his or her community’s urban and community forest, VT UCF also bestows a number of tree steward awards each year. Recipients will be recognized at a special ceremony at the Vermont Arbor Day Conference, May 19 in Randolph.

The Vermont Arbor Day Award was awarded posthumously to Gary Salmon of Shrewsbury, who passed away in January. For 36 years, he was a forester with the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, serving as district state lands forester and urban and community forester, among other roles. Salmon was the Shrewsbury tree warden and organized volunteers to inventory ash trees to plan for the emerald ash borer. He was a champion of the Vermont Big Tree list and measured many species that remain on the list today.

Salmon will be remembered as the “Shrewsbury Lorax” and “Vermont’s Arbor Day Hero” for his love and appreciation of trees. He led the state’s Arbor Day celebration for many years, including creating educational programming for schools and organizing efforts to obtain seedlings for distribution to students.

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