Dr. Jeffries named state urban forestry volunteer for 2012

Release Date: 7/13/2012

Dr. Doug Jeffries, professor of biology and environmental studies at University of the Ozarks, has been named the Outstanding Volunteer for 2012 by the Arkansas Urban Forestry Council (AUFC).

Dr. Doug Jeffries

Dr. Doug Jeffries has been named the Outstanding Volunteer for 2012 by the AUFC. Jeffries has led efforts to plant more than 200 trees on campus since the mid-1990s.

The award was announced during the AUFC's 21st annual conference, held June 25-26 at the Lake Point Conference Center in Russellville, Ark.

Jeffries, who has taught at Ozarks since 1991, also served as the guest speaker at the conference. Jeffries' speech, titled "The Johnny Appleseed Effect," focused on the tree-planting program at U of O. Since the mid-1990s, Jeffries has organized and championed an effort on campus that has seen more than 200 trees planted and the variety of tree species increase from about 30 to more than 50.

Jeffries estimates that more than 300 students have helped in the university's tree-planting efforts. He said his award from the AUFC was a reflection of a campus-wide effort.

"I was very honored to be recognized by professional arborists at the state conference for the all-volunteer tree-planting program at Ozarks," he said. "The diversification of the trees on campus, and the planting of replacement trees for older ones and those damaged by storms have been personally rewarding, and will hopefully continue to add beauty to the campus for generations to come."

Jeffries said he learned something interesting at the conference

"I found out that my favorite arbor saying is actually a Chinese Proverb: 'The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now.' " he said.

Jeffries, recipient of the 2011 U of O President's Above and Beyond Award, earned his Ph.D. in plant ecology at Arizona State University.

The AUFC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the ecological preservation of urban and community trees. The origin of the Forestry Council goes back to the 1990 Farm Bill, which substantially increased funding for state urban forestry initiatives. The council's role is to educate and promote good urban forest policies and management principles to Arkansas' communities. AUFC works at local, regional and state levels with citizens and public officials alike on important natural resource and tree care issues.