Mac Awards

Urban Forestry Mac Award

The Mac Award recognizes individuals, organizations, and businesses that have made a significant, positive impact on Vancouver's urban forest. Submit a nomination for your tree hero today!

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.

A lifelong volunteer, Gordon MacWilliams joined the Urban Forestry Commission in 2002. He continued to forge new partnerships within the community and spearheaded the revised Street Tree Ordinance. Gordon devoted much of his time to protecting and preserving trees throughout the community. Gordon's loving wife, Sylvia, strongly supported Gordon's love for trees and was with him every step of the way. Gordon and Sylvia are true tree heroes through their many contributions to our community, especially their impact on Vancouver's Urban Forest.

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.

2017 Mac Award Winners

Ross Montgomery has been a champion for our community for many years, wearing many volunteer hats. His commitment to neighborhood livability and safety are evident through his many roles, from president of his neighborhood association, to the SMART program, his noteworthy role in the NTSA, and more! Ross was instrumental in creating Hearthwood Park, then in 2014 Ross and his neighbors planted 30 new street trees along Hearthwood Blvd, adjacent to the park. These trees not only provide the benefits of cleaning our air and water, but also serve as a traffic calming measure. Ross continues his dedication to this project by volunteering to water these trees each week during the dry summer months. That’s no easy task. Just this year he worked closely with the Urban Forestry Commission to appoint a liaison to the Neighborhood Traffic Safety Alliance (NTSA) group, which will support and prioritize the importance of street trees in street design.

Dave Wannamaker has been influential in the care of our public spaces throughout Vancouver for the past 30 years. When the Urban Forestry program was in its infancy, Dave was with Grounds Maintenance and a steward of public properties. Over the years as trees became recognized as vital assets to the health and vitality of our community, Dave has been a steadfast partner in the care, maintenance, and planting of city trees. Working behind the scenes, Dave has identified reforestation projects; removed turf in favor of trees; supporting ivy and other invasive removal projects; and has ensured trees receive quality of care for long-term health. Today we are recognizing Dave for his vision, support, and role for over 30 years to create a healthy urban forest in Vancouver. 

Tim Carper is considered the epitome of a true tree hero, a champion and conservator of trees. His advocacy for our trees began a decade ago when he joined the instructional staff at Clark College. This has taken Tim into Clark’s classrooms, on countless field trips, as well as forming and presiding over the Clark Tree Advisory Committee. Tim received a grant from the State Forestry program to inventory the campus trees; this resulted in a great tree walk app and signage for this beautiful arboretum. This role led Tim to the visionary that first worked to have Clark College recognized as a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation (the reason we are all here today!); this year marks the 7th year Clark will be recognized with this award. Additional noteworthy roles Tim has assumed is serving on the Urban Forestry Commission and as Chair for two years, as well as training as a NeighborWoods Steward. Tim has made us aware of the need to conserve and protect our trees as the great legacy that they are, we are proud to recognize Tim with the Mac Award.

2016 Mac Award Winners

Jonathan and Debora Thomas are the definition of Vancouver tree stewards. In addition to Jonathan working as an ISA certified arborist during the day, both dedicate much of their free time volunteering to plant, prune, and maintain our city's and region's trees. As volunteers with Friends of Trees for five years, Jonathan and Debora have lead many planting teams as Crew Leaders and Truck Drivers, pruned dozens and dozens of young trees as Pruning Leaders, and inspected trees to ensure they are being maintained as Summer Inspectors. Jonathan and Debora go the extra tree mile, whether at work or in their free-time, to make our city and region's urban forest thrive.

Louise, Murdoch, and Nora Angus are long-time planting volunteers with Friends of Trees. If the planting is in their Hough neighborhood, we will even see them on the bike planting crew! Louise attended NeighborWoods Stewards training in 2014, bringing her children Maddox and Nora along to learn all about our community’s trees. The family continues to plant and care for our trees to make our community healthier now and for future generations. We often find ourselves saying we plant trees for future generations. Louise Angus and her two children, Murdoch and Nora are committed to creating a healthy, livable Vancouver for her family and community.

2015 Mac Award Winners

Brian French is a true tree advocate. Brian is an ISA Certified Arborist and Tree Risk Assessor that is passionate about sharing how important and magnificent our trees are, specifically the biggest ones. Brian is co-founder of non-profit tree advocacy group Ascending the Giants. He has presented his work climbing and documenting some of the largest trees in the Pacific Northwest at many TreeTalk Workshops over the years. Brian is generous with his time and support of Vancouver’s trees and professional tree care providers. He donated many, many hours to help coordinate the annual Pacific Northwest International Society of Arboriculture Conference, which was held in Vancouver in 2014. The conference brought together tree care professionals from across the region to network and learn about trends and advances in the tree industry. His support of this event helped make it a great success. 

Don Cannard is recognized for his passion and vision as a steward of our natural environment. Don has spent many tireless years making our urban nature accessible to the entire community. Don has a long history spearheading trail and restoration projects, which he continues to this day. In 1972 Don saw a need to build the Ellen Davis Trail, a 2 mile trail that connects North Vancouver neighborhoods to the Burnt Bridge Creek Trail system. Don’s vision and hard work created more access for the community to explore our urban natural areas. Don continues to work on trail and restoration projects with the Chinook Trails Association to bring people, organizations, and partners together to expose more people to our natural environment. 

Susan Bluestein is committed to creating a healthy, livable Vancouver. An active member of Hough Neighborhood, Susan is a long-time volunteer with Friends of Trees. For the past eight years she has helped coordinate the Friends of Trees plantings for her neighborhood. This is countless hours, phone calls, and knocking on neighbors doors encouraging them to plant trees on their property. Susan’s diligence has paid off, Hough neighborhood alone has planted 156 trees over the past 8 years. At this year’s annual planting, Sue spoke to a group of 200 volunteers about the many environmental, social, and economic benefits that Vancouver gains by the trees being planted. 


2014 Mac Award Winners

Amy Sidran is the Horticulture teacher at Fort Vancouver High School. Amy’s ongoing commitment in educating the next generation in stewardship of our urban natural resources is truly making a lasting impact. In fact, Amy’s former student, Alex, nominated her for this award! Amy goes the extra step with her students by connecting them to the community; whether it’s through internships in the green industry, collecting water quality data along Burnt Bridge Creek, or planting trees, or tending the greenhouses and gardens at the school. Amy has inspired many students by connecting them to their community through hands-on projects and opportunities.

Washington Conservation Corps Crewmembers are a group of dedicated young AmeriCorps members that are truly remarkable assets to our urban forest. Imagine serving outdoors for 10 hours a day in rain, snow, or blistering sun. This group does that, all for our trees. Day in and day out, this group of young men and women remove invasive plants, plant and prune trees, and restore stormwater retention throughout Vancouver and Clark County. In Vancouver alone they have planted hundreds of trees and thousands of shrubs, that’s no small task! A program of the Washington Department on Natural Resources, this group travels throughout the lower Columbia River Watershed restoring our Urban Forests. WCC can be proud of the role they are playing in protecting, preserving, and enhancing our community’s urban forests.


2013 Mac Award Winners

Bob Rowe has been a driving force behind improving our community’s urban forest for many years. Bob was among the first graduates of the NeighborWoods Training program. This training provided by Urban Forestry propelled Bob to become a true steward of his neighborhood trees. For over a decade Bob has been the force behind the restoration of Behren’s Woods, a jewel of a natural area in his neighborhood. Bob has been at the forefront of the Bella Vista park beautification and has organized tree pruning workshops to educate his neighbors on proper tree care. He is an outstanding neighbor and tree steward in the community.

Alex Bruyevicz was a summer youth intern with Urban Forestry, then started his freshman year at Clark College. Alex soon became involved with the Clark College Environmental Club, and eventually became president. Among the many projects, Alex spearheaded a waste reduction program and coordinates many ivy removal projects on campus. Last fall Alex recruited fellow students to train as Crew Leaders with Friends of Trees; since then, Alex hasn’t missed a weekend planting with Friends of Trees. We commend your devotion to making Vancouver more livable through your dedication leadership.

Melissa Tiefenthaler As co-chair of the Hough Neighborhood Association, Melissa is committed to creating a healthy, livable Vancouver. She saw the need for a progressive solution to tree roots lifting sidewalks in her neighborhood, while maintaining the mature trees for all the benefits they provide. Melissa volunteered to raise funds and coordinate the first rubber sidewalk project in the Metro region.

In addition to protecting existing trees in her neighborhood, Melissa is a long-time volunteer with Friends of Trees. For the past five years Melissa has been a crew leader with Friends of Trees, teaching numerous volunteers how to properly plant trees. For the past four years she has helped coordinate the Friends of Trees plantings for her neighborhood.


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