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Ms. Sandy Clark, forester for the Village of Mount Prospect, Ill., was presented the Advancing Arboriculture Award from the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA).

Chicago forester receives national award

Ms. Sandy Clark, forester for the Village of Mount Prospect, Ill., was presented the Advancing Arboriculture Award from the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA).


Each year, the TCIA board of directors and staff members select a governmental agency, institution or green industry partner that has worked to advance legislation, regulation or practices that support, promote, develop and advance the tree care industry’s mission.


Clark has worked tirelessly on behalf of trees and their professional care. Her determination, honesty and exemplary work effort have gotten her through over three decades of service to the Village of Mount Prospect. Not only has she developed a progressive municipal forestry and landscape maintenance program in Mount Prospect, but her program is highly regarded throughout Illinois.


She initiated the first innovative tree risk management program, to increase public safety while still preserving as many older trees as possible. She directed an intensive tree disease/insect control effort, drastically reducing the annual elm loss rate.


“Sandy’s focus on professionalism and high quality care is admirable,” said Mark Garvin, president and CEO of TCIA. “And her dedication to urban forest health is outstanding.”


As forester, she manages nearly 25,000 street trees and 42 acres of public grounds. She is a direct supervisor to a staff of 13 and, in spite of budget limitations, she ensures that they continually attend both formal and in-house training programs in all aspects of arboriculture, landscaping and safety. All of her forestry staff are certified arborists.  


A longtime member of the ISA, a certified arborist since 1990 and municipal specialist since 2008, Clark is a past board member of the Illinois Arborist Association (IAA) and a current member of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Municipal Team that contributes to a regional solution to Illinois’ EAB problem. She has received a Gold Leaf Award from the International Society of Arboriculture, Honorary Life Membership with the Illinois Arborist Association and an Exceptional Performance in Journalism Award from the American Public Works Association.


Under Clark’s tenure, Mount Prospect has been the recipient of the National Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA Award annually since 1985, and the Growth Award eight times since 1992. Mount Prospect received the Lady Bird Johnson Award for the beautification of our railroad right-of-way and has been accredited by the Society of Municipal Arborists since 1995.


Clark has been a forester, mentor, leader, creator, researcher and defender of trees for more than 30 years.

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