City Forester to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award
Left, City Forester Todd Ernster (back row, sunglasses) at an Arbor Day event with area youth and Mayor Andrew Halverson (front row, red vest). (Contributed photo)
For the City-Times
City Forester Todd Ernster will receive the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award on January 28.
The Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council presents annual awards to outstanding individuals, organizations, & communities that further urban forestry in Wisconsin. Ernster will be presented with the award at the annual Wisconsin Urban Forestry Conference in Green Bay.
One of five categories of awards presented, the Lifetime Achievement award recognizes outstanding contributions to urban forestry in Wisconsin demonstrated throughout a lifetime career.
Marla Eddy, Chair of the Wisconsin Urban Forest Council, says Todd was selected to receive the award for his years of service as an arborist working to support his profession statewide, and in guiding the development and care of the urban forest of the City of Stevens Point in partnership with its citizens.
Todd is only the fourth person to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award in the last seven years of the awards program.
Todd has worked for the City of Stevens Point Forestry Department for 25 years, including twelve as the City Arborist working alongside Mickey Simmons, Stevens Point’s first City Forester.
In 2014, Stevens Point will be a Tree City USA for the 33rd year and will have received the Growth Award for the thirteenth time. Stevens Point has received the Growth Award twelve times in Todd’s thirteen years as City Forester.
Some of the Forestry department’s other achievements under Todd’s direction include:
- Updating Stevens Point’s Forestry Specifications for Construction on Public Lands, including a better penalty system that protects trees from damage during construction
- Increasing public relations regarding the benefits of trees, including the Tree-mendous Benefits brochure, signage on City buses, and increased information on the City website, in newspapers, and with the Park Board and Common Council
- Establishing and maintaining a Street Tree Inventory and a Street Tree Management Plan
- Implementing an Emerald Ash Borer Plan
- Maintaining a great working relationship with the Aldo Leopold Society, UWSP, and others.
County Executive Patty Dreier, who nominated Todd for the award, says, “What is greatest about Todd’s distinguished legacy is that he is so humble! He freely gives so much credit for his department’s success to his staff, his colleagues, networks, and professional associations across the State of Wisconsin, and to his local partners. Todd’s approach to urban forestry and to moving the entire field forward is our future.”