Skip to the content

The Giving Tree: Dallas Urban Forest Chair Gets Bush Volunteer Award

Dallas Urban Forest Advisory Committee
The Dallas Urban Forest Advisory Committee logo sticker is their website address:

Published October 15, 2008 By ROBERT WILONSKY


Steve Houser's the chair of the Dallas Urban Forest Advisory Committee, as well as the founder and former president of the Dallas Historic Tree Coalition, which is "a local citizens' group advocating protection and preservation of irreplaceable trees in urban landscapes." In other words, the dude's a tree-hugger -- as evidenced by an Allison V. Smith photo of Houser actually hugging a tree in a 2002 High Profile.

And for that -- and, more specifically, his work with the North Texas Chapter-Texas Master Naturalist program -- he'll gets a hug from President Bush come October 25. That's when Houser will pick up his President’s Volunteer Service Award, given to folks who "dedicate at least 4,000 hours -- or two years -- to service over the course of their lives." (Houser's got 5,000 hours under his belt, showoff.) The city's media release concerning the award, which Houser will share with two other locals, follows.

Dallas Committee Chair To Be Honored By President Bush

Chair of Urban Forest Advisory Committee honored for donating more than 5,000 hours of volunteer service

The City of Dallas and Green Dallas congratulate Steve Houser, Chair of Dallas Urban Forest Advisory Committee for earning the President’s Volunteer Service Award. Houser and two other North Texans will be honored October 25th for donating more than 5,000 hours of service to their respective communities through the North Texas Chapter-Texas Master Naturalist program (NTC-TMN), which is a partnership effort between Texas AgriLife Extension, Dallas County, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Houser is a Certified Master Naturalist and has been Chair of the City’s Urban Forest Advisory Committee since its creation in 2005. He truly loves his work as an arborist and has lent his expertise, enthusiasm and guidance to the City of Dallas through his work on the Committee. He has been instrumental in protecting Dallas’ trees, helping secure a City Forester, initiating a tree inventory to take place in 2009, and educating North Texans on our trees and their role in our environment.

Dallas is home to the largest urban forest in the country, the Great Trinity Forest. Therefore, it is especially important for the City to have the expert advice and information when dealing with this valuable natural resource, and Mr. Houser is always at the City’s beckon call.

Congratulations Steve Houser!

About the President’s Volunteer Service Award:

The President's Council on Service and Civic Participation created the President's Volunteer Service Award program in 2003 as a way to thank and honor Americans who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service. The Texas Master Naturalist Program state office is the certifying organization for TMN volunteers to receive the president’s council award when volunteers reach the 5,000 hour service milestone.

About the Texas Master Naturalist:

The Texas Master Naturalist mission is to develop a corps of well-informed volunteers that provide education, outreach and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within the community.

The Texas Master Naturalist program was created to help cities and others struggling with costly environmental and land sustainability issues. TMN helps to educate and provide best management practices to residents with regard to conserving and protecting our natural resources.

The volunteers will receive their awards in ceremonies Oct. 25 during the Texas Master Naturalist Statewide Annual Meeting at Mo-Ranch in Hunt, Texas.

More information on the North Texas Chapter-Texas Master Naturalist program is on the organization’s Web site:


The City of Dallas’ Green Dallas initiative is aimed at environmental responsibility and encourages both public and private sector involvement. To find out more about how the City of Dallas is an environmental leader and what residents can do to ‘build a greener Dallas,’ visit the City’s green Web site

About the author

Mr. Robert Wilonsky

Mr. Wilonsky, former city columnist for The Dallas Morning News, is communications director for Heritage Auctions and a frequent contributor to DMN. He previously wrote for Dallas Observer.

Do your trees need help?

We're ready to grow a relationship.