|October 18, 2012 -
Mayor Madeline Rogero announced today the hiring of Knoxville's first urban forester. Kasey Krouse, who is currently an urban forester with Davey Resource Group in Fort Wayne, IN, will join the City of Knoxville Public Service Department on Dec. 3.
"I am very happy to welcome Kasey and his wife Beth to Knoxville," Mayor Rogero said. "His expertise will be invaluable as we work to protect and expand our urban canopy. Trees are crucial to our local ecology and to the quality of life for all Knoxvillians."
Mayor Rogero announced the creation of the urban forester position during her budget address this spring. Krouse will be responsible for managing the City's forestry program, including care of trees on City property and planning for future tree planting.
Krouse has a Bachelor's degree in forestry from Purdue University, and is a certified arborist/municipal specialist with the International Society of Arboriculture. With the Davey Resource Group, he has been responsible for managing and conducting tree inventories and tree management plans for multiple cities. His wife Beth has a Master's degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
"I am really looking forward to building on Knoxville's longstanding commitment to its tree program," Krouse said. "The City has a great, diverse stock of trees spread through its parks and green spaces and along roadways, and a strong tree plan in place for the future."
Knoxville has been recognized as a Tree City USA community by the Arbor Day Foundation for the past 21 years, and the City Tree Board was recently named Tennessee Tree Board of the Year by the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council. Knoxville will be the host of the state's official Arbor Day celebration on March 1, 2013.
Mayor Rogero budgeted $50,000 for tree planting in the current year. Combined with a $20,000 grant from Keep Knoxville Beautiful and the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation, and $19,200 from the Tennessee Agriculture Enhancement Program, the monies will allow the planting of more than 500 trees in the City this year.