COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M Forest Service and the Texas Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture recognized the Texas Community Forestry Award winners at the Texas Arbor Day celebration in Harker Heights, Texas on November 6 this year.

    “The awards recognize the best of the best in the world of arboriculture and community forestry in Texas,” said Urban and Community Forestry Program Leader Paul Johnson. “Having industry partners recognize people, projects and programs helps to elevate and motivate the industry as a whole.”

    The 2020 Texas Arborist of the Year was Susan Henson.

    Each year, an outstanding individual is awarded the Texas Arborist of the Year award recognizing their contributions to arboriculture and community forestry. Nominees are evaluated for their leadership, commitment, innovation, impact and sustainability in the field.

    “Henson is a long-time supporter of quality arboriculture and has promoted trees in the many job, teaching and leadership positions she has held in her community, region and Texas,” said Johnson.

    Starting in 1976, she worked on the City of Fort Worth landscape production crew and helped to establish the city’s first tree nursery. Recently, Henson retired from the City of Grand Prairie where she managed the horticulture crew that grew, planted and maintained over 10,000 square feet of annual beds, municipal grounds, medians and ROW to include trees and shrubs.

    The 2020 Award for Outstanding Landscape Improvement was awarded to the Heritage Park of Flower Mound.

    This award recognizes individuals, organizations or municipalities that have made significant contributions through tree planting, care and landscaping which enhances environmental protection, conservation, beautification, energy conservation or wildlife protection with significant impact over the years.

    The Heritage Park of Flower Mound is an 82-acre community park that was built in four phases between 2012 and 2019. Heritage Park has become a family friendly hot spot for picnics, birthday parties, playgroups, family reunions, award winning outdoor education programs, classes and special events.

    The Arboricultural Project of the Year Award recipient was From Tree to Urban Forest Health – Austin’s Urban Forest Health Program.

    The Arboricultural Project of the Year Award recognizes a specific tree care, protection, or planting project that exemplifies modern arboricultural practices and customer service.

    Austin’s Urban Forest Health Program uses an innovative approach to manage forest health at the municipal level. The project provides residents up-to-date information about proper tree care. It helps them organize their response to diseases, and taps into local communication channels to help neighbors take ownership of their local urban forest and diversify their approach to managing their trees.

    The Outstanding Arbor Day Award recipient was Keep Lewisville Beautiful Arbor Day Tree Plantings.

    This award recognizes individuals, organizations or municipalities that have promoted Arbor Day through special projects, ceremonies, news articles or observations with an Arbor Day theme.

    Keep Lewisville Beautiful and the City of Lewisville Parks Department work together each year to host outstanding Arbor Day activities by hosting public Arbor Day events and tree plantings that engage community volunteers. Each year, the town celebrates two Arbor Day events annually that combine plantings with education and public awareness.

    Award recipients were given a framed, limited edition, remarked print of a famous Texas tree by artist Ronnie Wells from Salado, Texas for their outstanding achievement.  



    Texas A&M Forest Service Information Officer, 979-255-0591,

    Texas A&M Forest Service Communications Office, 979-458-6606,