Village of Glenview Natural Resources manager receives forestry award

Dr. Robyn Flakne, the Village of Glenview's Natural Resources manager, received the Forester of the Year Golden Shovel Award by the Chicago Region Trees Initiative.

This urban forestry award is granted to the most dedicated forestry professionals.

"This honor is so well deserved," said Henrietta Saunders, chair of Glenview's Natural Resources Commission.

"It is even more special that this award comes from Dr. Flakne's peers in the industry."

Flakne, also an instructor at Northeastern Illinois University, has been co-chair of the Chicago Region Trees Initiative (CRTI) Trees and Green Infrastructure Work Group for six years, is staff liaison for the village's Natural Resources Commission and helps the Glenview board in managing, planning and evaluating natural areas in the village.

In that work, she helped to create and implement the Glenview Plan for Nature, a guide to support nature and trees throughout the village. She's also created a local Heritage Tree Program, and serves as Glenview's representative to the North Branch Chicago River Watershed Workgroup.

Flakne has published a Natural Areas Bike Tour and Heritage Tree Walk that provides opportunities for the public to access natural areas and trees. She's secured numerous grants to support water quality improvement, local habitat and tree-planting projects. Within the village she enforces codes as part of the building permit process and advocates for projects that work around and support existing trees and habitat.

Her local advocacy includes coordinating with Friends of the Chicago River for cleanups, organizing walking tours, and presents programs for the library, garden clubs and schools. Finally, among other things, Flakne supports and presents public education events at the Green Table during the Glenview Farmer's Market.

"I'd also like to point out Robyn's role in helping preserve Glenview's natural spaces and places, so that they can be enjoyed by all," said Glenview Village President Jim Patterson. "In particular the village has done much to improve the water quality of the North Fork of the West Branch of the Chicago River that flows through Glenview."

The Chicago Region Trees Initiative is a partnership for coordinated action on key issues facing trees. Working across the seven-county metropolitan region, is the largest such initiative in the country.

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