Longtime member of the Urban Forestry Commission, the late Jay Binder, was honored April 18, when two trees were planted in his memory at Kenwood Park as part of the city of Madras' Arbor Day celebration.
Commission member Rob Osborn recalled Binder's history with the commission as the group planted two northern red oaks. Binder was instrumental in helping the city achieve Tree City USA status 15 years ago, and was one of the first members of the commission.
Osborn remembers Binder, a former extension agent, saying that first you find the right spot for the right tree.
"Jay had a favorite saying we heard a lot: `Don't wait to plant a tree, plant a tree and wait,'" Osborn said. "It starts growing and ... beautifies your landscape, heats and cools, cleans air pollutants, works as erosion control, and becomes bird and wildlife habitat."
Katie Lompa, of Prineville, community assistance forester for the Oregon Department of Forestry, who was on hand for the tree planting, said she has been working with the city of Madras for the past 10 years.
Earlier this month, she presented the Madras City Council with a Tree City USA award -- its 15th. "They take a lot of pride in the award," Lompa said. "You can definitely feel it. It was refreshing to get that."
The city has met the criteria set by the National Arbor Day Foundation for the past 15 years.
Cities must meet four criteria set forth by the National Arbor Day Foundation in order to receive the Tree City USA designation:
. Adopt a tree care ordinance;
. Establish a program, tree board or commission;
. Spend at least $2 per capita on a community tree care program; and
. Conduct an Arbor Day or Arbor Week ceremony.
For more information on Arbor Day and Tree City USA, visit www.arborday.org.