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Arbor Day Foundation recognizes Grand Rapids tree map with national award

Grand Rapids inaugural Tree of the Year

City Forester Tyler Stevenson measures a fifty five foot green ash that has survived emerald ash borer and a car crash. The tree is the mayor's inaugural Tree of the Year and is located at 933 Wealthy Street SE. (Emily Zoladz | Mlive.com) Grand Rapids inaugural Tree of the Year gallery

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The Arbor Day Foundation will honor Friends of Grand Rapids Parks for its launch of the Urban Forest Project, which includes a crowd-sourced map on which the public can plot the locations of trees.

The Grand Rapids non-profit is one of 14 winners of the foundation's annual Arbor Day awards, to be given Saturday, April 27, in Nebraska City, Neb. Friends of Grand Rapids Parks will get an "Excellence in Urban Forest Leadership Award."

The gropu last year developed one of the country's few crowd-sourced tree maps, which strives to assess the economic, environmental and social value of trees and increase public awareness of it. In partnership with Grand Rapids' urban forestry committee, the group is reviewing the city's tree ordinance.

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The online tree map recently was used to make nominations for the Mayor's Tree of the Year: a 44-inch Burr Oak at Aberdeen Park was celebrated last week.

A list of other Arbor Day Foundation winners is here.

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