Arbor Day Award Winner Highlights: Excellence in Urban Forest Leadership Award

Each year the Arbor Day Foundation recognizes outstanding individuals, environmental leaders, and innovative organizations for their sustainable conservation efforts on an international, national, state and community level through the Arbor Day Awards Program. The 2014 Arbor Day Awards were presented April 26 at the Lied Lodge and Conference Center in Nebraska City. During May we’ll highlight the award winners.

Excellence in Urban Forest Leadership Award—Forest ReLeaf of Missouri:

The Excellence in Urban Forest Leadership Award is given to an exceptional individual or organization whose work provides innovative leadership in advancing sustainable community forestry efforts at a local, state, or national level.

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Donna Coble of Forest ReLeaf and Missouri state forester Lisa Allen plant a tree at Arbor Lodge State Historical Park. Photo by Carrie Benes.

Forest ReLeaf has helped in reshaping the tree canopy in communities across Missouri through civic engagement. Forest ReLeaf has collaborated with city and state forestry officials in creating volunteer management programs such as TreeKeepers and ForestKeepers.“Forest Releaf has been a key partner working with the Missouri Department of Conservation for over twenty years to improve our Missouri tree resources in communities large and small.  Their primary mission of growing container-sized trees that are available to communities free of charge has provided the support many towns needed to increase their tree canopy cover for the benefits of all citizens,” said Lisa Allen, Missouri state forester.

The joint effort has resulted in growing, planting, and management of more than 120,000 trees across the state. More than 4,000 of these trees are part of the Joplin Community Tree Recovery campaign replanting efforts.

Are you aware of an outstanding individual or organization that is an exemplary steward of our Earth?  If so, please consider nominating them for our 2015 Arbor Day Awards.

Arbor Day Award Winner Highlights: Forest Lands Leadership Award

Each year the Arbor Day Foundation recognizes outstanding individuals, environmental leaders, and innovative organizations for their sustainable conservation efforts on an international, national, state and community level through the Arbor Day Awards Program. The 2014 Arbor Day Awards were presented April 26 at the Lied Lodge and Conference Center in Nebraska City. During May we’ll highlight the award winners.

Forest Lands Leadership Award—The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency:

The Forest Lands Leadership Award is given to an individual or organization whose outstanding work provides leadership in advancing sustainable forestry efforts on public forest lands.

Brant & Patricia Miller, Damon Hollis and Jason Maxedon of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency plant a tree at Arbor Lodge State Historical Park.

Brant & Patricia Miller, Damon Hollis and Jason Maxedon of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency plant a tree at Arbor Lodge State Historical Park. Photo by Carrie Benes.

 

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service partnered to develop the West Tennessee Wildlife Resources Conservation Plan. By focusing on the habitat needs of wildlife and fish resources in West Tennessee, the partnership intends to reconnect fragmented forests into a continuous travel corridor for wildlife. Approximately 3 million trees have been planted to date and tens of thousands of acres of natural forest has been restored.

Are you aware of an outstanding individual or organization that is an exemplary steward of our Earth?  If so, please consider nominating them for our 2015 Arbor Day Awards.

Arbor Day Award Winner Highlights: Promise to Earth Award

Each year the Arbor Day Foundation recognizes outstanding individuals, environmental leaders, and innovative organizations for their sustainable conservation efforts on an international, national, state and community level through the Arbor Day Awards Program. The 2014 Arbor Day Awards were presented April 26 at the Lied Lodge and Conference Center in Nebraska City. During May we’ll highlight the award winners.

Promise to Earth Award—Physicians Mutual:

The Promise to Earth award recognizes sustained commitment and leadership by a corporation that partners with the Arbor Day Foundation on special projects.

Left to Right: Chris Johnson, Kim Holzapfel, John Rosenow, Deb Walton and Bob Gunia

Left to Right: Chris Johnson, Kim Holzapfel, John Rosenow, Deb Walton and Bob Gunia at the Arbor Day Awards ceremony.

One of the most successful insurance companies in the world, Physicians Mutual found a way to memorialize the lives of their customers and contribute to forestlands. Through the Arbor Day Foundation’s Trees In Memory program, Physicians Mutual helps to plant a tree in memory of customers at the time of their death. And through the Trees in Celebration program – also carried out by the Arbor Day Foundation – Physicians Mutual helps to plant a tree in honor of a customer’s birthday. The programs have left a profound impact on both forestlands, and the families of customers.This year also marks the 10 year anniversary of the partnership between Physicians Mutual and the Arbor Day Foundation. As a way to commemorate this important anniversary, Physicians Mutual launched the “Plant One, Celebrate Many” tree pledge—an initiative to plant one tree in the Oglala National Grasslands in Nebraska for every “like” the company’s “Plant One, Celebrate Many” Facebook page receives.

“We believe this new campaign is a great addition to our company’s commitment to restore and sustain our environment for future generations, while creating a lasting tribute to every life they represent,” said Bob Gunia, Physicians Mutual senior vice president.

During the past decade, Physicians Mutual has helped with reforestation efforts in Ocala National Forest in Florida, Huron-Manistee National Forests in Michigan and is currently planting trees in Bastrop State Park in Texas.

In partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, more than 250,000 trees have been planted in forests across the country.

Are you aware of an outstanding individual or organization that is an exemplary steward of our Earth?  If so, please consider nominating them for our 2015 Arbor Day Awards.

 

Arbor Day Award Winner Highlights: Excellence in Partnership Award

Each year the Arbor Day Foundation recognizes outstanding individuals, environmental leaders, and innovative organizations for their sustainable conservation efforts on an international, national, state and community level through the Arbor Day Awards Program. The 2014 Arbor Day Awards were presented April 26 at the Lied Lodge and Conference Center in Nebraska City. During May we’ll highlight the award winners.

Excellence in Partnership Award—Tree Canada:

Presented for the innovative, strategic, and/or pioneering collaborative efforts of organizations to advance forestry efforts on a local, state, national, or international level.

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Michael Rosen of Tree Canada plants a tree at Arbor Lodge State Historical Park. Photo by Carrie Benes.

As Canada’s largest nonprofit tree planting organization, Tree Canada has successfully facilitated high impact programs through its creative collaborations with public and private partners. Tree Canada has worked with universities, cities, and corporations such as BC Hydro, TD Bank, and Canadian National Rail Lines to create programs like Operation ReLeaf that helps communities recover from natural disasters and the Alberta Mountain Pine Beetle infestation project—a joint initiative with the government of Alberta and TELUS Corporation to replace trees damaged by the Mountain Pine Beetle.

Are you aware of an outstanding individual or organization that is an exemplary steward of our Earth?  If so, please consider nominating them for our 2015 Arbor Day Awards.

Arbor Day Award Winner Highlights: Rachel Carson Award

Each year the Arbor Day Foundation recognizes outstanding individuals, environmental leaders, and innovative organizations for their sustainable conservation efforts on an international, national, state and community level through the Arbor Day Awards Program. The 2014 Arbor Day Awards were presented April 26 at the Lied Lodge and Conference Center in Nebraska City. During May we’ll highlight the award winners.

Rachel Carson Award—Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD):

The Rachel Carson Award recognizes programs, individuals or organizations whose exemplary leadership and efforts guide the nurturing of young children’s inborn sense of wonder about the natural world.

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Chief facilities executive Mark Hovatter of LAUSD plants a tree at Arbor Lodge State Historical Park. Photo by Carrie Benes.

LAUSD is taking a national leadership role in making meaningful connections with nature part of the daily lives of the children it serves. Through the creation of Nature Explore Classrooms at these centers, asphalt playground areas are converted into nature-based learning environments. The projects enable children to connect with the natural world as a regular part of their healthy growth and development.

The Classrooms feature learning stations with hands-on activities, music, climbing and crawling, building, art, and gardening.

The impact of the experience is evident in the first classroom that was completed three years ago. Children are calmer and more focused on learning, have fewer injuries and improved problem-solving skills.

The district has committed to develop 11 Early Education Center Nature Explore Classrooms in areas that lack parks and green space. Three Nature Explore Classrooms are in operation, eight are currently in design, and many more are planned for the future.

Are you aware of an outstanding individual or organization that is an exemplary steward of our Earth?  If so, please consider nominating them for our 2015 Arbor Day Awards.

Arbor Day Award Winner Highlights: Champion of Trees Public Service Award

Each year the Arbor Day Foundation recognizes outstanding individuals, environmental leaders, and innovative organizations for their sustainable conservation efforts on an international, national, state and community level through the Arbor Day Awards Program. The 2014 Arbor Day Awards were presented April 26 at the Lied Lodge and Conference Center in Nebraska City. During May we’ll highlight the award winners.

Champion of Trees Public Service Award—Mayor Barbara Bass:

Presented for the innovative, strategic, and/or pioneering collaborative efforts of organizations to advance forestry efforts on a local, state, national, or international level.

Mayor Bass and husband Billy plant a tree on the Arbor Day Farm.

Mayor Bass and husband Billy plant a tree on the Arbor Day Farm. Photo by Carrie Benes.

Mayor Bass’ commitment to growing the city of Tyler, TX urban tree canopy is evident through her work. Within one year of serving in office, Mayor Bass earned Tyler official Tree City USA status for the first time in 2009.

 “We want to make sure we’re continuing to replace, grow, and protect the wonderful greenery we have here in Tyler and the beautiful urban forest,” Mayor Bass said.

Long-time Tyler resident, Judith Guthrie, stated that:  “Without the Mayor’s commitment to trees in Tyler, the community would never have achieved Tree City USA status.  We like to say that the true meaning of life is to plant a tree under whose shade you never expect to sit.  The Mayor has given a gift to future generations of Tylerites of shade under which to sit.  We are all grateful for her vision and leadership.”

In 2010, Mayor Bass announced the Tree Tyler Initiative—a campaign to plant 5,000 trees in 5 years. As of February 2013, the city has planted more than 5,500 trees. Mayor Bass serves as an example of the accomplishments communities can achieve when urban forestry becomes a key priority.

Are you aware of an outstanding individual or organization that is an exemplary steward of our Earth?  If so, please consider nominating them for our 2015 Arbor Day Awards.

 

Arbor Day Award Winner Highlights: Eisenhower Elementary School

Each year the Arbor Day Foundation recognizes outstanding individuals, environmental leaders, and innovative organizations for their sustainable conservation efforts on an international, national, state and community level through the Arbor Day Awards Program. The 2014 Arbor Day Awards were presented April 26 at the Lied Lodge and Conference Center in Nebraska City. During May we’ll highlight the award winners.

Arbor Day Celebration Award — Eisenhower Elementary School:

The Arbor Day Celebration Award honors celebrations that best represent the spirit of the tree planter’s holiday.

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Christel Erlel Stewart, Gary & Grace Stewart plant a tree at Arbor Lodge State Historical Park. Photo by Carrie Benes.

In 2007 a parent volunteer delivered the first Arbor Day presentation to the third through fifth grade students at Eisenhower Elementary School in Camp Hill, PA.

It was that initial tree talk that sparked the annual comprehensive Arbor Day curriculum taught to students at Eisenhower Elementary today. Students learn about the vital benefits trees provide to individuals and communities while learning basic tree identification skills.

In 2012, the art education component was added to the curriculum, creating the Eisenhower Elementary Arbor Day Poster Contest.

Today, students in third and fourth grade participate in the lesson plans – learning about trees with the culmination of their experience occurring in fifth grade when they create posters to showcase what they have absorbed over the years.

The effectiveness of the curriculum taught to the students at Eisenhower is apparent as evidenced by their involvement in the community and attendance at public tree planting ceremonies.

Every year, more than 300 seedlings are distributed to students on Arbor Day. Students at Eisenhower Elementary have planted nearly 2,000 trees to date throughout the Camp Hill area since 2007. We’re excited to see what else will sprout from Eisenhower Elementary.

Are you aware of an outstanding individual or organization that is an exemplary steward of our Earth?  If so, please consider nominating them for our 2015 Arbor Day Awards.

Arbor Day Award Winner Highlights: Lawrence Enersen Award

Each year the Arbor Day Foundation recognizes outstanding individuals, environmental leaders, and innovative organizations for their sustainable conservation efforts on an international, national, state and community level through the Arbor Day Awards Program. The 2014 Arbor Day Awards were presented April 26 at the Lied Lodge and Conference Center in Nebraska City. During May we’ll highlight the award winners.

Lawrence Enersen Award—Guy Hager:

The Lawrence Enersen Award honors those who have had a positive impact on the environment through a lifelong commitment to tree planting and conservation at a community level.

Guy Hager is the senior director of Great Parks, Clean Streams and Green Communities at the Parks and People Foundation of Baltimore. Hager’s work to improve the health of Baltimore’s ecosystem is evident in projects like Watershed 263, a nationally recognized storm drain green infrastructure initiative that improves water quality and the quality of life using greening or urban forest projects. In addition, Hager has played a key role in Revitalizing Baltimore– a national model community forestry and watershed restoration project.

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Guy Hager and wife Anne plant a tree at Arbor Lodge State Historical Park. Photo by Carrie Benes

Hager and his green infrastructure team at Parks & People were recognized by the State of Maryland with an award for innovation in stormwater management for the creation of a new community park with pervious concrete and pavers.

In addition, Hager served as the Executive Director of the Baltimore Regional Council of Governments and as the Director of the Department of Planning and Zoning for Harford County prior to his time with Parks & People.

Are you aware of an outstanding individual or organization that is an exemplary steward of our Earth?  If so, please consider nominating them for our 2015 Arbor Day Awards.

Arbor Day Award Winner Highlights: J. Sterling Morton Award

Each year the Arbor Day Foundation recognizes outstanding individuals, environmental leaders, and innovative organizations for their sustainable conservation efforts on an international, national, state and community level through the Arbor Day Awards Program. The 2014 Arbor Day Awards were presented April 26 at the Lied Lodge and Conference Center in Nebraska City. During May we’ll highlight the award winners.

J. Sterling Morton Award—Dr. Kim Coder

9[1]This award recognizes an outstanding individual who has had a positive impact on the environment due to their lifelong commitment to tree planting and conservation at a national or international level.

Dr. Coder is a renowned educator, lecturer and author at the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia. His passion and contributions to community forestry has helped establish Georgia as an international leader in urban and community forestry.

“This is a great honor, and represents a continuing responsibility to provide the best tree science education to individuals and communities,” Coder said.

The International society of Arboriculture granted him the highest award for arboriculture education.

Jim Skiera, Executive Director of the ISA, states, “Dr. Kim Coder has had a tremendous impact on the industry as one of the founding developers of the International Society of Arboriculture Certification program.  He was a critical spark that helped light the fire in the industry to establish best practices via the formalized adoption of a widely respected continuing education and rigorous certification program.”

He is also a founding member of the Georgia Urban Forest Council in the state of Georgia and founding faculty member of the Institute for Environmental Management and Planning in the country of Georgia (in the region of Eurasia). Dr. Coder has earned his esteem in being globally recognized as an expert on the effective planning and proper care required in growing a community tree canopy.

Are you aware of an outstanding individual or organization that is an exemplary steward of our Earth?  If so, please consider nominating them for our 2015 Arbor Day Awards.

Arbor Day Award Winner Highlights: Frederick Law Olmsted Award

Each year the Arbor Day Foundation recognizes outstanding individuals, environmental leaders, and innovative organizations for their sustainable conservation efforts on an international, national, state and community level through the Arbor Day Awards Program. The 2014 Arbor Day Awards were presented April 26 at the Lied Lodge and Conference Center in Nebraska City. During May we’ll highlight the award winners.

Frederick Law Olmsted Award—Nancy Buley:

This award recognizes an outstanding individual who has had a positive impact on the environment due to their lifelong commitment to tree planting and conservation at a state or regional level.

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Nancy Buley & her son Neil plant a tree at Arbor Lodge State Historical Park. Photo by Carrie Benes.

As the communications director for one of the nation’s premier tree nurseries, J. Frank Schmidt & Sons, Nancy Buley has used her role to benefit urban and community forestry by involving diverse stakeholders and promoting proper tree planting and care.  Buley’s commitment to the production and selection of high quality trees has earned her opportunities to travel across the country and speak on community forestry. She is well respected by local arborists, city foresters, and government officials for her lifelong dedication to promoting and planting trees.

Nancy has also been actively engaged with organizations such as the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Oregon Association of Nurseries, the American Nursery & landscape Association, and Friends of Trees—Portland’s award-winning non-profit tree planting organization. Her diligent efforts over the years as an advocate for trees has earned her the well deserved Frederick Law Olmsted Award.

Are you aware of an outstanding individual or organization that is an exemplary steward of our Earth?  If so, please consider nominating them for our 2015 Arbor Day Awards.