The Front Royal/Warren County Tree Stewards is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The organization has been in existence since 1997 and began with just 13 members. The work and hours vounteered by the Tree Stewards each year help Front Royal fulfill requirements to be a qualified member of Tree City USA for the past 17 years. Education programs are offered to residents of Warren and nearby counties.
The mission of the Front Royal/Warren County Tree Steward program is to increase public awareness of the intrinsic value and beauty of trees, to learn and understand the needs of the community forest, to help the Town of Front Royal and the County of Warren in caring for the community’s publicly planted trees (especially young trees), to educate other residents of the community about urban forestry, and to involve additional community members in creating and caring for community tree plantings.
Melody Hotek, President
Henry Pickard, Vice President
Vicki Althaus, Treasurer
Frances Pickard, Secretary
Joan Brubaker Leslie Eliason Carol Groves
Jeff Hotek Emily Huttar David Means
Ron Perlik David Richmond
The Front Royal/Warren County Tree Stewards packed a lot of education, work sessions and tree plantings into 2016. The group as a whole reported at least 1728 hours for a total volunteer benefit of approximately $38,865 to our community.
Working together with the Town of Front Royal, the Visitor Center and the Virginia Dept. of Forestry, a combined Earth Day/Arbor Day celebration was held on April 23, 2016. Mayor Tim Darr read the Arbor Day proclamation and Front Royal was designated a Tree City USA for the 17th consecutive year. Mary VanderSluis from the VDoF presented the 2016 Tree City USA flag and plaque. Anne Rose, the Town’s Horticulturist selected a Golden Weeping Willow for this year’s tree that was planted in the rain along Happy Creek and the bridge near Prospect St. Thanks to a grant from Trees Virginia, the Tree Stewards were able to purchase new exhibit tables and outreach materials for display at the 2016 Arbor Day celebration and for future events.
Education & Community Outreach
The All About Trees class this Fall had 13 actively engaged students all of whom completed all the requirements and received their certificates. Two participants were from the Warren County School system and a few were from other counties. It ran from the first week of September through the planting of the class tree, a River Birch on October 22 on the Front Street portion of the Greenway. CEUs were available for local arborists.
In late July and early August 2 hands-on sessions at Samuels Public Library on proper pruning methods were offered for free to the public.
Tree Stewards participated in many festivals and events including:
Tree Steward member David Means served as Chair on the Front Royal Urban Forestry Advisory Commission in 2016. Melody Hotek represented the Tree Stewards at the Front Royal Beautification Committee meetings. Emily Huttar is our contact with the Master Gardeners. And, we all enjoyed working together this year with the Appalachian Trail Community Committee and the Front Royal Visitor Center on special events of mutual interest.
We look forward to seeing you around town in 2017 as we continue to volunteer for our community forest! If you see us, stop and say hello and tell us about your trees!
Melody Hotek, President