April 04, 2002 11:00 pm

Trees specifically La Grandes trees drew the attention of local and state officials several times this Arbor Week.

At Wednesdays La Grande City Council meeting, the citys forestry consultant Brian Kelly presented an overview of the work of the La Grandes landscape and urban forestry committee and other volunteers. He also explained the Ar-bor Day awards ceremony Thurs-day at Eastern Oregon University.

During the Arbor Day ceremony, volunteer awards were given to Jennie Tucker and Bob Ottersberg, as well as to the Riverbend youth camp, Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative and to City Garbage Service.

Their donations of volunteer time and equipment, Kelly said, represents thousands of dollars given to the city.

Katie Kause, with the Oregon Department of Forestry, also presented Mayor Colleen Johnson and the council with the 2002 Tree City USA award, the 12th earned by La Grande, along with the special Sterling Growth Award, given to La Grande for a decade of urban forestry effort.

Only eight Oregon cities have achieved the Growth Award, Kause said.

You do have an award-winning program here, she said, noting that La Grande is an oasis in Eastern Oregon.

I encourage everyone here, Kause said, emphasizing the importance of what she called the citys green infrastructure and the need to continue a program of caring for and planting trees.

During the program at EOU, a permanent marker was established to mark the citys first Heritage Tree, the Baker black locust planted in 1883 to honor a pioneer grave.

Original music was performed, school children participated and recognition was given to several people.