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Village forester Cindy Kohles efforts honored
Gays Mills
Cindy Kohles pruning trees
CINDY KOHLES, Village of Gays Mills volunteer forester, is seen pruning trees in the village in January of 2019.

GAYS MILLS - The Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council has announced awards honoring those dedicated to protecting, preserving and increasing the number of trees that line city streets, fill community parks and beautify neighborhoods throughout Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council advises the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Division of Forestry on the management of urban and community forest resources.

"Wisconsin plays a critical role in conservation, especially when it comes to trees," said Linda Cadotte, Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council award committee chair. "These awards honor individuals, organizations and communities for their hard work and dedication to trees and the benefits they provide. Every year, the awards committee closely reviews the nominations. It's an honor to learn more about all of the incredible work happening around our state that helps to support healthy community forests."

This year's recipients were announced at the 2021 Wisconsin Arborist Association/DNR Urban Forestry Conference, which was held virtually. 

Distinguished service

Recognizing an individual for outstanding contributions to urban forestry in Wisconsin.

This year's honoree, Cindy Kohles, is an exceptional leader in Wisconsin's urban forestry community and has served with distinction as the Village of Gays Mills volunteer forester for many years. Through her hard work and perseverance and the successful acquisition of multiple DNR urban forestry grants, the village's tree program has grown under her energetic leadership. Kohles' dedication and energy are exemplified in all her accomplishments. Her efforts have resulted in the village becoming a leader in small community tree care and regional urban forestry training in southwestern Wisconsin.

The Arbor Day Foundation has also announced that Gays Mills is the country’s smallest community to earn the Tree City USA Growth Award, with a population of 502.