The Nine Mile Run Watershed Association (NMRWA) is honored to announce that Larry Patchel was selected as a finalist for the Alliance for Community Trees (ACTrees) 2013 Volunteer of the Year Award. This award highlights inspirational volunteers in action who have made a contribution to urban forestry by improving community trees and the neighborhoods where they live.
ACTrees is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and livability of cities by planting and caring for trees. To date, over 5 million volunteers from ACTrees member organizations (including NMRWA) have planted more than 15 million trees across the country.
NMRWA nominated Larry for this award because he is a truly exceptional volunteer that encourages people from different backgrounds and groups to work together as a community. Larry uses his charm and vast horticultural knowledge and experience to teach others about proper tree planting and pruning techniques, soil composition, plant taxonomy, proper tool usage, and safety.
“Volunteers are the heart of local tree nonprofits, providing the resources and energy that make tree planting and care possible,” says Carrie Gallagher, ACTrees Executive Director. “Larry Patchel models the ideals of stewardship, giving, professionalism, and leadership.”
Whether he is identifying poison ivy for kids at the high school rain garden, digging tree holes with students from the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, or advocating for trees at the Boys and Girls Club of Wilkinsburg, Larry’s hands-on, contagious, and charismatic style is well-known in this small Pittsburgh community.
Larry is an active member of the American Chestnut Foundation, helping to hybridize Chinese and American chestnuts, and tending to the seedlings until they become trees. He sets up a tent each year at the Phipps Conservatory Plant Sale and sharpens pruners and other tools to benefit the Men’s Garden Club of Pittsburgh, of which he is a member. He also attended all of the tree plantings from the 500 Tree Initiative in Wilkinsburg implemented by NMRWA.
Brenda Smith, Executive Director of Nine Mile Run Watershed Association says, “We are very lucky to have Larry as a dedicated and passionate volunteer of Nine Mile Run Watershed Association. He continues to work hard to improve his community. Larry embodies ACTrees’ mission of ‘improving the environment and community – one tree at a time’. We are excited to acknowledge Larry’s dedication and hard work through the ACTrees Volunteer of the Year nomination”.
We want to thank Larry for his dedication to and passion for our work.