MOUNT VERNON, April 27, 2022 – The Shade Tree Commissions of the City of Mount Vernon
and the Village of Gambier, along with the Tree Campuses of Kenyon College and Mount Vernon
Nazarene University, hosted the 2022 Tree City USA Awards Presentation on April 21 in the
Schnormeier Event Center in Ariel-Foundation Park. The event included 45 communities from 15
counties across Central Ohio.
“We were pleased to see so many attendees
in our community. We planned this event in
2020, but had to cancel due to the COVID
pandemic,” said Dr. James Brown,
chairperson of the City of Mount Vernon’s
Shade Tree and Beautification Commission.
Tree City USA is one of the Arbor Day
Foundation’s oldest programs and helps
communities with the direction, assistance
and recognition of growing and maintaining
healthy tree canopies. The Ohio Department
of Natural Resources (ODNR) administers all
Tree City, Tree Line and Tree Campus
programs in the state on behalf of the Arbor
Day Foundation. The Awards Presentation is
an opportunity to recognize these efforts.
The day’s events started with a welcome
from Dr. Brown, who introduced Matt Starr,
Mayor of Mount Vernon, and Gambier Mayor
Leeman Kessler. Brian Ball, Mount Vernon’s
City Engineer, gave a presentation on the
City’s tree inventory and increased species
diversity, which have aided the riparian
projects and stormwater management
programs in the City.
The morning’s speakers were followed by
walking tours of Ariel-Foundation Park and a
box lunch catered by Lannings Foods. Amy
Henricksen, project coordinator of the
Philander Chase Conservancy and steward of the Kokosing Nature Preserve, was the afternoon
speaker. She spoke about the history, creation and conservation of the Kokosing Nature Preserve
and natural burials.
The event concluded with an awards presentation and remarks from Alistair Reynolds, a Regional
Urban Forester with the ODNR Division of Forestry.
Representatives from 45 communities across Central Ohio attended the recent 2022 Tree City USA Awards Presentation at Ariel- Foundation Park.
“I’m thankful that we were able to have an event this year and that communities showed up. It was
nice to see everyone in person again,” Reynolds said. “I look forward to next year’s Tree City
The City of Mount Vernon and the Village of Gambier both received Growth Awards for their
additional efforts to increase tree projects and their commitment of resources for urban forestry.
Both Kenyon College and Mount Vernon Nazarene University received recognition for being Tree