KAYSVILLE -- Parks Superintendent Vance Garfield was recently honored with a lifetime achievement award for decades of work in providing the city with a canopy of beautiful foliage.
The Utah Community Forestry Council, in partnership with the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, honored Garfield with the 2012 Lifetime Service Award.
The award recognizes Garfield for his efforts to plant, maintain and promote trees in Kaysville. The award also acknowledges the diverse species of trees within the city parks and cemetery, and praised the exceptional maintenance the city provides.
The Utah Community Forest Council is a nonprofit organization that promotes suitable management and care of Utah's community forests through partnerships and education.
Garfield began working for Kaysville about 30 years ago as a landscape gardener who cared for 20 acres of parks and cemetery sites within the city.
During his career with the parks division, the amount of land for which he is responsible has grown to 117 acres.
"In addition to turf, annual flowers, ground covers and shrubs, trees deserved special attention, and Vance Garfield answered the call to better manage and sustain them as important components of parks and the greater Kaysville community," wrote Scott Zeidler, of the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands.
Zeidler nominated Garfield for the award.
Zeidler said approximately 2,000 trees have been planted in the years that Garfield has worked for the city. He indicated that those municipally managed tree resources are now valued at $1.7 million.
"Many staff, civic leaders and citizens have recognized Vance's appreciation and respect for trees and his ongoing advocacy for them," Zeidler said.
Under Garfield's management, older trees that die and need to be removed are replaced with two new trees. Younger trees are replaced with one tree.
"When Vance talks about a tree, you get the feeling that each specimen is assigned a special place in his heart. His conviction to afford the best care becomes a legacy in the community," Zeidler said.
"Vance appreciates the tree heritage established by pioneer settlers of Kaysville and does his best to voice their value."
Garfield's efforts have also helped the city qualify as a Tree City USA for the past 15 years.
Zeidler praised Garfield's efforts to involve community members and Boy Scouts in the maintenance and planting of trees within the city.
He also mentioned the effectiveness of Garfield's efforts to work with local businesses and nurseries.
"Vance Garfield's impact to Kaysville city and Davis County as a tree advocate and steward will extend for decades," Zeidler said.
Kaysville Mayor Steve Hiatt agreed, saying, "In my experience, in my five years on the council, (Garfield is) the finest we have in the city."