Eric Bridges, Lakeland Natural Resources Director, has been presented the “2006 Government Employee of the Year” award by the Tennessee Urban Froestry Council at the 15th Annual Forestry Conference on September 7 in Nashville.
Congratulations to Eric on a well-deserved award! Eric has established an award winning Natural Resources program in Lakeland, including designation of Lakeland as “Tree City USA”, has established several arboretums in Lakeland, diligently took an inchoate Tree Ordinance and developed it into an effective tree preservation tool, established (and is currently developing) an innovative Natural Resources Inventory, prepared and implemented grants for community improvement, including trees and personnel to assist in preparing the Natural Resources Inventory, and especially important, has been very active in making presentations, workshops and speeches on tree (and Natural Resources) preservation and development. He has also effectively developed an army of volunteers who assist in beautifying and preserving Lakeland as a unique residential experience.
It has been a pleasure to work with and watch Eric develop as a professional, as a person and as a proponent of the conservation of natural resources in Lakeland. Eric is one of the few professionals with both a Forestry and Arborist Certification and I think this is just an indication of the pride and dedication he takes in his profession and his position of Natural Resources Director with the City of Lakeland.
Eric is also recognized nationally. He is presenting a paper "Urban Planning During Growth and Restoration" during the 2006 Society of Foresters National Convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The paper is based on Eric's experience in Lakeland in developing ordinances and programs to conserve natural resources during rapid growth periods.
When you see Eric, congratulate him not only for his award, but also for a job well done! I am proud that Eric Bridges works for the City of Lakeland!