Retired forester and active volunteer Steve Rasmussen received the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum’s Appleseed Award in Lincoln on Nov. 5. The award recognizes an individual “who embodies the generous spirit of Johnny Appleseed through sustained personal involvement in tree-planting in Nebraska.”
Rasmussen spent almost 40 years with the Nebraska Forest Service helping plant trees and landscapes in Northeast Nebraska. He has helped develop and/or worked with arboretums in Creighton, Pierce, Crofton, Pender, Norfolk, Wayne, Neligh, South Sioux City, Wisner, Battle Creek and at Northeast Community College. These arboretum affiliate locations serve as models in the area for beautiful, sustainable green spaces. They are especially helpful demonstration sites that encourage the planting of underused species of trees and shrubs, which, with changing climate patterns, have proven adaptable in areas that were previously out of their native range.
Known by many as the “Friendly Forester,” Rasmussen offers support as well as expertise and continues to be instrumental in drawing people together to plant and improve their communities. A favorite saying of his is “I plan to continue to plant trees until I am planted.”