Denny Michel was notified recently that he was a winner Trees Forever Outstanding Advocate award, but he was unable to attend the awards ceremony in Iowa City.

Instead, several members of the local organization visited him at Bethany Life, where he has been undergoing physical therapy.

“We got a group of about 20 Story City Trees Forever members and friends together to join Brad Riphagen, state Trees Forever staff member present him Thursday here in Bethany Life the award that he was not able to be present to receive at the June 14 2018 Trees Forever Annual Celebration held at Celebration Farm in Iowa City,” said Story City Mayor Mike Jensen, who is also president of the local Trees Forever group.

The award Michel received was for his dedication and hard work helping the Story City Trees Forever group plant almost 3,000 trees through out the community, helping with planting and maintaining the 7.5 acres of prairie at our prairie park, several landscaping areas around the city and trail system.

“Denny has always been there for us teaching the Scouts and volunteers about trees and the proper way to plant and care for them,” Jensen said. “Denny spent most of his life working with trees in one way or another. He worked for the Department of Natural Resources in the Forestry Division. He has used that career, his wealth of tree knowledge and expertise to help our Story City Trees Forever Group make Story City a more healthy, environmentally friendly and beautiful place to live, play and raise a family.”

The impact Story City Trees Forever has made on the community is not small matter over the course of more than two decades of work. The total value to date that the group has added to the community with its projects is approaching $500,000.

“Denny is the long time vice president of our group and has been a great asset to making our project a success,” Jensen said. “Denny is very much deserving of and long over due for this award.


The state level of Trees Forever recognized 15 award winners from Iowa. “These are outstanding volunteers, environmental

stewards, partners and advocates who exemplify the mission of the Trees Forever,” a press release from the organization stated.