Ottawa, ON (October 19, 2018) – Tree Canada, Canada’s leading national tree-planting charity, was pleased to announce the recipients of their first urban forestry awards at the International Urban Forestry Congress held in Vancouver, BC earlier this month.

With submissions evaluated by a review committee consisting of representatives from Tree Canada, the Canadian Urban Forest Network Steering Committee, International Society of Arboriculture Canadian Chapters and the Society of Municipal Arborists, the successful award recipients were:

1. Owen Croy who received the Royal Galipeau Award of Distinction recognizing excellence in leadership and significant contributions in Canadian urban forestry over a minimum of ten years.

Owen has made a substantial impact in the field of urban forestry and was instrumental in creating one of the first municipal urban forestry programs while he managed the Urban Forestry Program for the City of Surrey, BC. He recognized early on the importance of urban forestry practices to create a green and thriving city.

He serves on the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia as an Adjunct Professor and is a founding member and regular instructor of the innovative Municipal Forestry Institute, an annual, weeklong, intensive professional development program for mid-career urban forestry professionals.

2. The Town of Richmond Hill, Ontario which received the Public Education Award recognizing excellence in furthering the understanding of urban forestry and encouraging best practices in the urban forestry sector.

The Town of Richmond Hill’s Community Stewardship Program provides opportunities for residents, community groups and local businesses to get involved in hands-on activities to establish healthier natural corridors and green space connections.  As a result, since 1998, the program implemented more than 1,000 restoration projects with the help of 18,000 community volunteers and 108 schools, community groups and local businesses to plant 206,000 trees and shrubs and restore 84 acres of land and 22 km of stream.

Overall, their efforts have worked to increase the canopy cover in Richmond Hill despite losses from the Emerald Ash Borer, the 2013 ice storm and ongoing land development.

3. Laura Nguyen who received the Urban Forestry Student Bursary recognizing students in Canada who have a strong interest in and dedication to urban forestry as demonstrated by their academic, volunteer and extra-curricular activities.

Laura is a graduate student in Master of Forest Conservation program at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Forestry, and was a summer urban forestry intern with the City of Toronto where she led a project to develop a comprehensive inventory of all urban forestry services including tree planting, maintenance, protection and planning.

Earlier this year, the Toronto City Council passed a motion to increase tree protection in Toronto, which was led by Laura, with the mentorship of Toronto City Councillor Sarah Doucette. Motion PE25.1, entitled Tree Protection through the Committee Adjustment, includes eight actions the City can take to address gaps in tree protection.


“We are proud to recognize this year’s award recipients and are thankful to them for their efforts in advancing urban forestry in Canada. With climate change and increased high-density living being our everyday realities, the need for individuals and groups advocating for our urban forests will become increasingly important. Each contribution is necessary in creating urban environments that will improve the quality of life for all citizens and Tree Canada is happy to acknowledge each of these contributions.”

– Michael Rosen, President of Tree Canada


About Tree Canada

Tree Canada is a non-profit charity dedicated to improving the lives of Canadians by planting and nurturing trees. Since 1992, we’ve planted more than 80 million trees, greened more than 600 schoolyards, helped restore places hit by natural disasters and brought together urban forestry experts greening cities all across Canada. Get involved or learn more about us at

More information:

Tree Canada Awards


Carol Burnup
Senior Communications Advisor, Tree Canada
613-567-5545 ext. 230