(October 30, 2015) The Connecticut Urban Forest Council presented the City of Hartford and KNOX with the Outstanding Urban Forestry Award this week in recognition of their collaborative urban forestry program. Hartford and KNOX have partnered since 2010 to increase the number of trees throughout the city with involvement from the community. KNOX, a nonprofit dedicated to building greener and healthier neighborhoods in Hartford, plants about 1,000 trees along city streets, parks and cemeteries every year with funding from the City of Hartford and other sources. This is the first time that the City of Hartford is recognized by the council with the Outstanding Urban Forestry Award.

“KNOX and the City of Hartford have been working hard over the past several years to grow Hartford’s tree canopy, making the city a healthier and more beautiful place to live and work. It’s such a pleasure knowing that KNOX’s efforts and the efforts of our City Forester and her team are acknowledged,” said Mayor Pedro E. Segarra.

“This is a special award, given only when there’s an interesting and unique program that’s working really well. There are great things going on all over the state, but this is a perfect example of a partnership between a nonprofit and a city that is unique and successful,” said KNOX Executive Director Ron Pitz, who also sits on the Connecticut Urban Forest Council.

“This partnership has blossomed into something incredible that has transformed the City of Hartford. Keeping the public safe and nurturing our natural resources is our focus, along with enhancing the City’s beauty through planting. It is an honor to take care of the capital city’s trees and serve its residents,” said City Forester Heather Dionne.

“Hartford has some great people in it, including some great people in urban forestry willing to step up and provide natural leadership.  That is what we see with this award – people from many different organizations getting together to make it happen for their city.  Hartford should be proud,” said Chris Donnelly, Urban Forestry Coordinator at the Department Of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Urban Forestry Program.

According to the Connecticut Urban Forest Council, there are more than 500,000 trees across the city helping to remove 2,440 tons of carbon and 73 tons of major pollutants annually. For the last 15 years, Hartford has been named a Tree City USA community by the Arbor Day Foundation.