Last fall, we launched our second Integrity Icon contest, to identify the most principled, hardworking, service-oriented city workers in Philadelphia. After vetting the nominations, we sent a shortlist to our group of judges, who picked five incredible winners to be Philadelphia’s 2022 Integrity Icons.
One of those is Lori Hayes, director of urban forestry at the Department of Parks and Recreation.
Hayes is the person in charge of planting the trees that make our city more beautiful and livable. She was nominated, in part, for her efforts to make Tree Philly’s programs accessible to everyone—the elderly, the blind, women who want to climb trees and be arborists, low-income communities and returning citizens.
She has led a program partnering with high school students to plant trees in underserved neighborhoods and has a huge network of people throughout the city who love and respect her, according to a reference.
Hayes is the rare Black woman in a field dominated by White men, and a leader whose employees see as kind and realistic and passionate about our parks and forests.
Our judges selected Hayes for her incredible commitment to service: She has spent most of her life in public service; she was an intern, then a groundskeeper, then a technician for Parks and Rec, before taking on her current role. To do this for some 40 years and not become jaded or burned out is a marvel.
“Integrity means everything you do right—the honesty, the professionalism, the the responsibility,” Hayes says. “Once you have earned it and achieved it, no one can take it away.”
MEET THE OTHER INTEGRITY ICON 2022 WINNERS
MEET THE LAST CROP OF PHILLY INTEGRITY ICON WINNERS