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City of Oshkosh honors Foundation for Taking Root initiative - March 22 2011

The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation's Taking Root campaign was honored Monday, March 21, 2011, with the City of Oshkosh's Community Partner Award.

Community Foundation President and CEO Eileen Connolly-Keesler accepted the award during the State of the City event at the Oshkosh Convention Center.

"Oshkosh is a model for communities everywhere that want to do projects like this," Connolly-Keesler said. "This hasn't been done before. People are asking, 'how can we do what Oshkosh did.'"

Taking Root is a beautification project launched by the Community Foundation in January 2010 that aims to not only improve the quality of life for Oshkosh's residents, but also to promote Oshkosh as a leader in green communities.

The initiative targeted a $500,000 fundraising goal, which has since been met. In 2010, Phase I of the project included the planting of 1,000 trees along eight city streets and in six parks and public spaces.

Planning for Phase II of the mostly private funded project is underway. Locations for nearly 1,400 trees along city streets and in parks have been identified. An April and May planting schedule is being developed. Plans include recruiting a volunteer contingent of all ages for planting and tree maintenance, as well as fundraising for an endowment fund for maintainence and additional plantings.

Connolly-Keesler along with project partners Bill Sturm, Oshkosh city forester, and Dan Traas, owner of Ranger Services Inc., were recognized by the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council with its 2011 Award for Project Partnership in recognition the Taking Root Fund initiative. The award was announced at the annual Urban Forestry Conference in February.

Connolly-Keesler and Sturm accepted the Forestry Council's award Monday night, presented by Shirley Brabender-Mattox of the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council.

Celebration of Lights and Altrusa International Club of Oshkosh also received Community Partner Awards, and 23 people were recognized for the volunteer efforts on city committees.

The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation is a nonprofit charitable organization created by and for the people of Winnebago County, Waushara County, Green Lake County and Ripon. Through charitable giving, the Community Foundation strives to make our communities thrive.

Click here to donate to the Taking Root Fund.

Click here to see photos from Monday's awards presentation.

Click here to read the Oshkosh Northwestern story about the State of the City event.

 

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