STRATFORD, CT – December 1, 2008 – The Connecticut Urban Forest Council awarded The Park City GIS Tree Mapping Boot Camp with The Urban Forestry Award for Technological Innovation. The honor was bestowed at a special awards ceremony at the Mountainside Inn in Wallingford on October 23, 2008.
Stacey Marcell, Owner of Northeast Horticultural Services and Steve Hladun, Project Coordinator for Bridgeport Parks and Recreation received the award on behalf of The Park City GIS Tree Mapping Boot Camp, where they worked together with twenty 12-14 year-olds who were enrolled in the town’s day camp this past summer.
Through a grant issued by the State of Connecticut, the town was authorized to hire tree expert, Stacey Marcell of Northeast Horticultural Services, to work with the newly purchased Geographic Information System (GIS) that identifies and maps trees using a handheld Global Positioning System (GPS). The GIS process allows tree experts to identify existing trees, so that the city can understand what type of trees they have and what condition they are in. This is important, so the city can plan for which trees they should plant in the future and where they should plant them. They will also be able to forecast expenditures needed to remove hazardous trees. This will become an integral part of the city of Bridgeport’s urban forestry initiative and planning of that process.
Under the direction of Steve Hladun, Project Coordinator for Bridgeport Parks and Recreation, the program began on Wednesday, July 9, 2008 at Seaside Park. Stacey and the campers were delighted when Mayor Bill Finch joined the group to kick-off the project. The lessons that Stacey Marcell, Steve Hladun and Mayor Bill Finch taught the campers that day were the first steps in helping Bridgeport’s trees grows. Stacey has continued to plant more trees in the area as well as fix and nurture trees that have been damaged or planted improperly. There are also plans for this program to expand to Beardsley Park.
Stacey emphasized the importance of the health, longevity and beauty of plants, shrubs and trees with the campers and demonstrated techniques they could use to help the environment. “This is an exceptional program and I’m thrilled that I am able to help these young kids understand the environment and how to take care of it, so that they can keep it safe in the future.” Stacey notes.
Stacey’s commitment to the city is demonstrated by her continued support of other projects. In May 2008, Stacey helped a local Eagle Scout candidate and his troop master skills in horticulture, which helped him to receive his Eagle Scout badge. Stacey and some of her crew also donated time and over $3,000 in shrubs and trees to the Beardsley Zoo for the cause. “This project was very close to me, because my grandfather was an Eagle Scout and I am excited to hopefully have my son, Cameron, follow in his same footsteps.” says Stacey. Stacey and Northeast Horticultural Services are also involved in many organizations including the Connecticut Tree Protective Association, Tree Care Industry of America and the Northeast Organic Farming Association as Organic Land Care Operators.
Stacey is a licensed arborist and degreed horticulturalist, with a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. As a horticultural scientist, she is strongly committed to organic maintenance and is meticulous about choosing the right plants for the location and maintaining their care with eco-friendly solutions.
The Connecticut Urban Forest Council, Inc. is a statewide organization composed of representatives from Connecticut environmental organizations, state agencies, universities, research institutions, corporations, professional communities and citizen tree groups. Its purpose is to provide advice, assistance, education, information and support to urban and community forestry professionals, associated professionals, municipal, state and corporate leaders, and volunteers.