Town of Oakville forestry program receives SMA accreditation

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Gisele Shaw

Gisele Shaw

Gisele Shaw is the Manager of Corporate Communication for the town of Oakville since 2002. Prior to working for the town she worked for Halton Region as a communications specialist. She is a graduate of Humber College.

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The Town of Oakville is the first Canadian municipality to join a prestigious group of communities accredited by the Society of Municipal Arborists (SMA). SMA Accreditation is the highest honour for municipal urban forestry programs. John McNeil, manager, Forestry Services accepted a plaque on the town’s behalf at the SMA’s 51st Annual International Conference and Trade Show on Tuesday.

“The Town of Oakville continues to be a national leader in urban forestry,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “This SMA accreditation confirms that our commitment to the health, vibrancy and protection of our tree canopy now and for future generations is paying off.”

The town’s forestry program is the first outside of the USA to be accredited by SMA. SMA Accredited programs must have an ISA Certified Arborist on staff, an approved Local Forest Master Plan, and a Tree City USA growth award certification or equivalent. They also must show preference for accredited tree care companies when contracting tree care work, adhere to ANSI standards for safety and performance, and adhere to SMA’s Code of Ethics.

In a letter to the town, SMA President, David Lefcourt praised the town’s forestry section for their outstanding efforts in maintaining its urban forest, and extended congratulations to Mayor Rob Burton for his leadership. “This accreditation recognizes the dedication you and your forestry section staff have given to the Town of Oakville and the care of its urban forest. From routine operations to management and planning for your community forest, the Town of Oakville is exceeding international standards and setting an example for others to follow,” he said.


For more information on the town’s forestry programs, visit the Trees and Woodlands page at

About SMA
The Society of Municipal Arborists is a not-for-profit international organization of municipal arborists, urban and community foresters, members of tree boards, tree wardens, consultants, municipal officials, and students who are involved in the professional management of trees where over 114 million people live, work, and play. SMA leads the world in building the confidence, competence, and camaraderie of the family of professionals who create and sustain community forests. For more information, visit



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