2008 Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year

~ Laurence and Edith Park ~

Laurence and Edith Park of Presque Isle received the 2008 Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year award at the Maine Agricultural Trade Show, held at the Augusta Civic Center on January 16.

The Park’s 100 acre woodlot has been a certified Tree Farm since 1982 and is managed sustainably. All of the work is done by the owner, a retired seed potatoe grower. Park harvests with a tractor and winch to minimize soil compaction and root damage and to avoid damage to other trees.

The Tree Farm is managed for multiple use, including snowmobiling, cross country skiing, hiking and hunting and trapping by permission. Park gives tours of the woodlot for students of area schools and other groups and has hosted Envirothon competitions.

In addition to winning the state Outstanding Tree Farmer award, Park also received the AroostookCounty award. He is the Northern Maine Chapter Representative for the Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine (SWOAM), and was Supervisor of the Central Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) for 30 years. He was the SWCD Conservation Farmer of the Year in 1973d their Forest Landowner of the Year in 2003. His Forester is Bruce Wilkins.

Runners up in the Maine 2008 Tree Farmer of the Year Contest were Oxford County winner Benjamin and Rie Welch of Dixfield and Lincoln County winner Andrew Abello and Amanda Russell of Edgecomb. Ronald and Sandra Kostron of China received the Kennebec County award.