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Forestry and Natural Resources > Associations > Indiana Arborist Association > Awards



The Indiana Arborist Association is proud to announce the following award winners at the annual conference.​​​

The 2013 annual meeting of the Indiana Arborist Association was recently held January 21st through the 23rd at the Marriott East in Indianapolis. During the annual awards presentation, the following individuals or groups were presented awards for outstanding arboriculture and urban forestry practices in Indiana.

Ramsey/IAA Student ​Award

The Indiana Arborist Association honors a Purdue University student who has a professional interest in some aspect of urban forestry with the IAA Ramsey Award. The IAA makes this award in memory of Paul Ramsey, who was an outstanding Indiana arborist and past president of the organization. The award consists of a plaque and a check for $1000.

This year’s recipient is a senior with a major in Forestry who is expected to graduate in December 2014. Additionally, he has completed an Associate’s degree in Forestry and Conservation from Vincennes University. Travis Dunn has been active with the Purdue Student Society of American Foresters, Student Society of Arboriculture, Purdue American Fisheries Society and the FNR Student Council.

Since 2007, he has been employed with the Hendricks County Parks and Recreation Department. Travis’ objectives after graduating from Purdue are for a successful career in the Parks and Recreation field or a career in urban forestry as an arborist.

IAA Award of Merit

The Indiana Arborist Association each year awards one or more members with the Meritorious Service Award. To be eligible for this award the recipient must be a member of IAA. The award is based on their outstanding work in the field of arboriculture and urban forestry.

Larry Caplan is an Extension Educator for horticulture in Vanderburgh County. He received a Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and a Master’s degree from the University of Illinois, both degrees in Horticulture.

Larry is a Certified Arborist and an Indiana Accredited Horticulturist. He is a founding member of the Indiana Urban Forest Council, and served as a voting member of the Vanderburgh County Area Plan Commission until 2002. He served as a board member of the Wesselman Nature Society in Evansville from 2003 to 2013, and has chaired their Education Committee. Larry serves on the Indiana Arborist Association Board of Directors and as an appointed member of the Evansville Tree Advisory Board.

He has taught and administered the Purdue Master Gardener program in southwestern Indiana since 1987. He currently advises and manages over 400 Master Gardener volunteers in the four counties of southwestern Indiana.

Larry has won numerous national awards through the National Association of County Agriculture Agents for his high quality educational programs. He won a first place national award in 1996 for his presentation on “Alternatives to Pesticides;” in 2004 for his weekly newspaper column with the Evansville Courier and Press; again in 2012 for his power point presentation on “The History of Pesticides”. In 1997 Larry received, on behalf of the Southwestern Indiana Master Gardener Association, the Purdue University “Breaking New Ground Best Practices Award” for his demonstration exhibit, “Gardening for People with Physical Disabilities”.

IAA Distinguished Service

ISA Gold Leaf Beautification

See Past Winners

Each year the International Society of Arboriculture recognizes individuals, organizations and communities at the chapter level for outstanding Arbor Day Programs, tree plantings and community beautification projects. This is an opportunity for the Indiana Chapter to acknowledge projects that have a significant impact on a community.

A grant to Franklin College from the Division of Forestry, Community and Urban Forestry has resulted in a complex native forest restoration which will contribute to the education and training of college students, K-12 Indiana teachers, and community leaders. In addition to the educational benefits the restoration presents, the project has led to better care of existing trees on the Franklin College campus and a resulting improvement in the ecology of the campus.

Under the direction of Dr. Alice Heikens, Professor of Biology, and the assistance of a master gardener, a certified arborist and over 20 volunteers, Franklin College converted three acres of turf into an urban forest. In 2012, the college planted 75 canopy and sub-canopy native trees, and in 2013 several native shrubs and herbaceous species were added. To demonstrate the diversity, 25 species of trees were utilized. As these trees mature, the area will increasingly resemble the Eastern deciduous forests found in Johnson County prior to European settlement.

Grizzly Forest, named after the college mascot, has an educational brochure on site, developed so that individuals and groups can learn about Indiana forests and the highlighted native trees planted. The college also leveraged funding from the Indiana Native Plant Society for the shrubs and herbaceous species.

Partnering with Indianapolis public television station WFYI and the Indiana Academy of Science, together they developed two 3- to 4-minute videos on urban forests. Shot while the herbaceous species were being planted, it is intended to be shown throughout Indiana, demonstrating to the public the value of forests and native species, and how forest species can be protected even in lawns.

As a result of the urban forestry grant, Franklin College hired tree care professionals and a certified arborist to address the needs of maintaining newly planted trees in an extreme drought, as well as to protect established trees on campus. In 2012, two Franklin students completed a computerized inventory mapping over 1000 campus trees. A Greenscape Committee composed of faculty, staff and students was created to address issues of trees on campus. They developed a management plan and implemented polices to protect the existing trees on campus and have articulated goals for increasing the native tree canopy. The college has determined that the committee is so vital to the college that the vice president of planning, plant and technology chairs the group. This has led Franklin College to submit an application to become a Tree Campus USA.

Tree Worker Award

Our final award is the Indiana Arborist Association Tree Worker Award. It is presented to an individual who has significantly improved the quality of tree care, climbing techniques, and/or safety of tree care professionals. It also recognizes tree care workers who have, through their expertise and customer interaction, advanced the understanding and professionalism of arboriculture to consumers. This year the IAA has partnered with to award the recipient a $500 dollar gift certificate.

Gary Brough began his career as a tree climber with Bartlett Tree Experts in Virginia in 1996. He became a certified arborist in 2001. Gary relocated back to Indiana in 1997 and continued with Bartlett Tree Experts and Scott Tree Care in Indianapolis until 2006. In 2006 he began working for Bellinger’s Tree Care LLC of Lafayette where he became a crew leader foreman. During Gary’s employment at Bartlett and Bellinger’s and in addition to his daily certified arborist responsibilities, he trained approximately 29 climbers under his direction and mentorship.

Gary began competitive tree climbing in 2002 and he placed first overall in the IAA sanctioned Indiana Tree Climbing Master’s Challenge in his first year. He went on to place first overall in 2003 though 2005 as well. Gary has continued his participation in the Indiana Tree Climbing competition by serving as a volunteer and judge.

Gary’s current position with Brownsburg Tree Care LLC began in late 2013 as a foreman and Safety training coordinator. He assists in managing the day-to-day operations of the company. Gary continues to identify, train and mentor prospective tree climbers and future certified arborists while maintaining a strict observance of tree care industry practices.

The Harvey Holt Continuing Education Scholarship Award

This scholarship is being made available to members of the Indiana chapter by the IAA in recognition of the many years of service and support by Dr. Holt. In dedication to his pursuit of providing the best educational opportunities to our members, we are pleased to continue this goal by making this award available to professional arborists and urban forestry professionals in Indiana.