Committee opens nomination process for 2017 Maynard Drawson Award
Oregon Travel Experience (OTE) and the Oregon Heritage Tree Committee are accepting nominations for the annual Maynard Drawson Memorial Award. (*The award nomination form is located below in the “Submit your nominations” section of this article.) This will be the third year that the annual award will honor an individual (or group) who has championed Oregon’s trees with the same fervor and success as Maynard Charles Drawson (1925 – 2012).
The deadline for award nominations is January 27, 2017. The Oregon Heritage Tree Program Committee will review all nominees and make their decision in early spring. The winner will be introduced at the Statewide Heritage Tree Dedication during Oregon Arbor Week in April. A wood plaque crafted from a fallen former heritage tree will be presented to the awardee, noting their contributions to Oregon history and heritage.
About Maynard C. Drawson
Somewhat early on in his career, Maynard C. Drawson settled in Salem and embarked on a personal and passionate journey—chronicling the great Oregon outdoors. As an avid fisherman, history-buff and writer, he authored a five volume series entitled “Treasures of the Oregon Country.” Maynard Drawson is considered the founder of Oregon’s statewide Heritage Tree Program. A native Oregonian and Portlander, he first followed his father’s professional footsteps as a barber.
Drawson’s natural tendencies towards exploration led him deeper into Oregon’s wild where he connected with other “big tree” aficionados. His hiking trips into Oregon’s deep forests culminated in several big tree nominations to (and their acceptance into) the National Big Tree Registry.
As Drawson’s relationship with trees and tree preservation matured, he collaborated with state and federal officials to conserve a special group of Douglas and western hemlock trees. The Polk County preserve was named “Valley of the Giants”—and stands as a magnificent lasting reminder of the old growth timber that once adorned the Oregon Coast Range.
Founding father of the Oregon Heritage Tree Program
Drawson advocated for a statewide heritage program that would weave historic events, places, and people together—connecting Oregonians to their much loved and significant trees. His enthusiasm and perseverance were rewarded when he presented his idea to the Oregon Travel Information Council and they agreed to manage a statewide program. The Council delegated program administration of the Oregon Heritage Tree Committee to its semi-independent state agency (OTE) and modeled the criteria on OTE’s Oregon Historical Marker Program.
After Drawson passed away in 2012 the Heritage Tree Committee sought new ways to encourage Oregonians in preserving and supporting our state’s historically significant trees. Two previous winners, Brian French of Ascending the Giants, and Katherine Mushel of Portland’s Urban Tree Commission, earned the award in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Submit your nominations
To nominate a person or group for this award, please download, print and complete the nomination application (PDF). (Attach extra sheets as necessary to answer the questions fully.) Application deadline is January 27, 2017. Awardee(s) will be notified in March, and recognized at a statewide dedication ceremony held during Arbor Week (the first full week in April) each year.
Your completed nomination form may be sent to: Maynard C Drawson Award, Oregon Travel Experience, 1500 Liberty St SE, Suite 150, Salem, OR, 97302. For more information telephone 503-373-0864 or email your nomination inquiries to OTE.