OTE - Oregon Travel Experience

The 2015 Oregon heritage tree award

Posted on: October 30th, 2014 by Madeline MacGregor in News & Press |

OTE announces the Maynard C. Drawson Memorial Award

Captain Flavel Heritage TreeOregon Travel Experience (OTE) and the Oregon Heritage Tree Program have established a new statewide award in Maynard “The Tree Man” Drawson’s name.

Maynard Charles Drawson (1925 – 2012) is considered the founder of Oregon’s official statewide heritage tree program. Founded in 1995 the program is administered by OTE, and was adopted by the agency’s governing Council.

The annual award will honor individuals (or groups) who have championed Oregon’s trees with the same fervor and success as Drawson.

The deadline for award nominations is January 30, 2015. The Oregon Heritage Tree Program Committee will review nominees in February and notify the recipient in March. When the Statewide Heritage Tree Dedication takes place in April 2015, the winner will be honored in a special ceremony at the event. A plaque will be inscribed with the individual’s name, recognizing their contributions to Oregon history and heritage.

A native Oregonian and Portlander, Drawson chose to follow his father’s professional footsteps as a barber. The young Drawson settled in Salem and followed his social and exploratory nature by embracing the great Oregon outdoors.  His personal roster of friendships included professional business people, legislators and other naturalists and historians. An avid fisherman and outdoorsman as well as history-buff and writer, he authored a five volume series entitled “Treasures of the Oregon Country.”

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.

Drawson’s affection for Oregon’s trees led to further inspiration—he imagined a statewide heritage program that would weave historic events, places, and people together—connecting Oregonians to their much loved and significant trees.

After pitching his idea to several state agencies, Drawson’s enthusiasm and perseverance were rewarded when the Oregon Travel Information Council agreed to implement a public statewide program. The Council delegated program management to its semi-independent state agency (OTE) and modeled the criteria on OTE’s Oregon Historical Marker Program.

Download the application for the 2015 award

The nomination application and instructions may be downloaded in PDF format by clicking on the following link: Download the instructions and nomination form.

For more information, contact Annie von Domitz at anniev@oregonte.com, or telephone 503-373-0864.