Grace Elton, Ruth Seward, and Derek Lirange.

The Worcester Tree Initiative, an independent program of Tower Hill Botanic Garden, was recently awarded the Gold Leaf Award by the International Society of Arboriculture.

The award was presented on Oct. 2, 2017, at the Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center to WTI Executive Director Ruth Seward, Community Forester Derek Lirange, and Tower Hill CEO Grace Elton.

The ISA Gold Leaf Award is designed to recognize an individual, organization, or community in the New England Chapter for outstanding Arbor Day programs or community landscape beautification projects. This is an opportunity to recognize projects that have had an impact on a community or region over several years with an international award.

Worcester Tree Initiative, which focuses on the urban forest of New England’s second largest city, was nominated in the category of landscape beautification. This category recognizes individuals, organizations or municipalities that have made signification contributions through tree planting and landscaping which enhances environmental protection, conservation, beautification, air purification, or wildlife protection. The award highlights activities that have had a positive impact in promoting tree care and tree preservation.

Worcester Tree Initiative has a community-based approach includes education and training, tree planting, and long term tracking and care to achieve significant improvements to the environment and to quality of life in the city.