The Texas Community Forestry and Tree Care Awards are held during the annual Texas Tree Conference, organized by the Texas chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture and the Texas A&M Forest Service urban forestry department.
2015 Award Winners:
The Gold Leaf Award–Landscape Improvement: THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT EL PASO
The University of Texas at El Paso is the 2015 Gold Leaf Award winner for their Campus Transformation Project. With the addition of 700 trees of 24 varieties, the project revives the natural arroyo terrain that once defined the center of campus before it was replaced with roads and parking lots. Planting a variety of drought-tolerant shade trees, environmentally sensitive shrubs, grasses and plants native to the Chihuahua desert will lower temperatures and help prevent heat exhaustion.
Arborist of the Year: OSCAR MESTAS, regional urban forester, Texas A&M Forest Service
This year’s Arborist of the Year, Oscar Mestas, is a regional urban forester with Texas A&M Forest Service in El Paso. A graduate of Stephen F. Austin University with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry, Oscar is an International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist and Municipal Specialist, a Society of American Forester Certified Forester, and is Tree Risk Assessment Qualified. Oscar served as editor for the Texas Chapter of ISA, founder of West Texas Urban Forestry Council, chairman of El Paso Tree Board and on the board of Keep El Paso Beautiful. Oscar exemplifies leadership, commitment, innovation, impact and sustainability in the world of trees and tree care.