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.

Trees Tame Stormwater

Rain refreshes the land and nourishes the green landscape, and all things that grow suffer when we lack rainfall, as areas that are currently experiencing or have just recently experienced drought can attest. But when that long-awaited rain does pour down, particularly when it’s not a gentle sprinkle, but a torrent of water, the benefits may not always be as great.

runoff_diagram[1]Wait–rain is rain, right? Shouldn’t it help equally wherever it falls?

Well, in areas where houses, stores, schools, roads and parking lots spread, the natural tree cover is lost, and so too is the absorbing effect of vegetation and soil. Without the benefit of trees and vegetated infrastructure, welcome rain becomes costly stormwater runoff—rushing through gutters and pipes following a storm, as oils, heavy metal particles and other harmful substances are washed into rivers and lakes. Fish and wildlife suffer, drinking water becomes expensive or impossible to reclaim, property values are reduced, and our living environment is degraded.

Luckily, something can be done to make the most of the precious rainfall, helping to maximize its benefits to all: planting trees and preserving existing trees.

Leaves and bark of a tree retain a huge amount of water, allowing some of it to evaporate and some to more slowly reach the ground. How exactly do they do it? Several ways:stormwater-runoff_fazio[1]

-Intercept falling rain and hold a portion of it on the leaves and bark. Part of this intercepted water will evaporate and part will be gradually released into the soil below.

-At the surface of the soil, fallen leaves help form a spongy layer that moderates soil temperature, helps retain moisture, and harbors organisms that break down organic matter and recycle elements for use in plant growth. This important layer also allows rain water to percolate into the soil rather than rushing off carrying with it oil, metal particles and other pollutants.

-Below ground, roots hold the soil in place and absorb water that will eventually be released into the atmosphere by transpiration.

-Through the collective action of leaves and the anchoring and absorbing effects of roots, trees also contribute to soil stabilization, cleaner water and the recharge of groundwater that serves as the drinking supply for more than half the nation’s population.

few treesDepending on size and species, a single tree may store 100 gallons of water or more, at least until it reaches saturation after about one to two inches of rainfall. When multiplied by the number of trees in a community, this interception and redistribution can be significant. It is estimated that the urban forest can reduce annual runoff by 2-7%. This reduction can be converted into dollar savings due to the use of smaller drainage and artificial retention systems. When trees are combined with other natural landscaping, studies have shown that storm runoff can be reduced as much as 65 percent in residential areas. In fact, sometimes even 100 percent of rainfall can be retained on site.

abundant treesCheck out the interactive graphic on arborday.org that shows the effects of few trees, then abundant trees on city stormwater and runoff:

The role of trees in stormwater retention and its resulting benefits to public health and municipal budgets deserves greater appreciation. It is one reason of many why the planting and care of trees in our communities is of critical importance.

Trees are useful and valuable components of city stormwater infrastructure and provide measurable reductions in runoff volume and pollutant loads. Municipalities should explore opportunities to expand tree planting programs and incorporate trees into engineered stormwater systems. Trees are not just landscaping placed on top of city infrastructure, they are city infrastructure. –Shirley Trier, Davey Resource Group

Adapted from Tree City Bulletin #55: How Trees Can Retain Stormwater Runoff by Dr. James R. Fazio

References:

Tree City Bulletin #55: How Trees Can Retain Stormwater Runoff

Arbor Day Foundation: How Trees Tame Stormwater

Top 10 Ways to Celebrate Arbor Day

The simple act of planting a tree will have a positive impact for generations to come. In the words of J. Sterling Morton, founder of Arbor Day, “Other holidays repose upon the past, Arbor Day proposes for the future.” Here are 10 ideas of how you can celebrate Arbor Day:

17_Fruit_saplings[1]Have a game night with tree trivia, winner gets a tree seedling

Hold a picnic in a park, or take a nature hike

Learn your state tree

Invite friends over for a movie nightIMG_4700[1] and watch a film that features trees with pumpkin spice cupcakes (or some spice derived from trees)

Send an Arbor Day e-card to friends & family

Bake an Arbor Day inspired dish (or whole meal) using spices and other ingredients produced entirely by trees

9512239-large[1]Sign up to a neighborhood recycling program or find a recycling center and pledge to recycle paper and cardboard

Upcycle your tree clippings, there are other ways to use them in addition to your garden

Collect leaves, put tempera paint on DSC_7859[1]them and make leaf prints

Buy a What Tree Is That pocket field guide and see how many trees you can identify in your neighborhood

The Real March Madness – Spring has Sprung on Tree Campus USA Campuses Across the East Region

Of the 68 National Collegiate Athletic Association teams playing in this year’s tournament, we found 29 colleges that have been recognized as 2013 Tree Campus USA campuses. Our NCAA series concludes with our final region of Tree Campus USA campuses — the east region.

americanAmerican University: American University has been designated a Tree Campus USA for five years. AU’s campus arboretum offers more than 75 different tree species.

Delaware State University: delawareDelaware State University has been designated a Tree Campus USA for three years. DSU’s campus arboretum contains more than 174 different species and some notable trees, including the Shingle Oak state record tree, the 2nd largest of its species in the state.

dukeDuke University: Duke University has been designated a Tree Campus USA for six years. Duke has taken a number of initiatives toward becoming a more sustainable campus. In addition to campus efforts, Duke collaborated with NC State University and the NC Division of Forest Resources to achieve sustainable forestry certificates for 55,000 acres of forest in North Carolina.

SyracuseSyracuse University: Syracuse University has been designated a Tree Campus USA for two years. SU’s grounds department maintains more than 683 acres of landscape.

University of Connecticut: UConnUniversity of Connecticut received Tree Campus USA designation for the first time in 2013.  More than 300 tree species are spread across 4,104 acres on the UConn main campus.

University of Florida: HSC-aerial[1]University of Florida received Tree Campus USA designation for the first time in 2013. The campus is adorned with more than 1,200 trees. UF’s efforts on becoming more sustainable have made them an Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary.

University of Massachusetts Lowell: Southwick620[1]University of Massachusetts Lowell has been designated a Tree Campus USA for three years.

Is your school or alma mater a Tree Campus USA? Learn more about the Benefits of Being a Tree Campus USA.

The Real March Madness – Spring has Sprung on Tree Campus USA Campuses Across the Central Region

Of the 68 National Collegiate Athletic Association teams playing in this year’s tournament, we found 29 colleges that have been recognized as 2013 Tree Campus USA’s. Our NCAA series continues with the following list of Tree Campus USA’s in the central region.

Photo Services, Kim HaskinsUniversity of Michigan: U-M was the first university to be recognized as a Tree Campus USA and has received designation for the last six years. U-M has more than 16,000 trees spread across its four campuses. The central campus alone has more than 1,200 trees.

eku2_4[1]Eastern Kentucky: EKU has been designated a Tree Campus USA for three years.

Tennessee State University: aerial[1]TSU received recognition as a Tree Campus USA for the first time in 2013. TSU is moving to become a greener campus through its campus sustainability initiative, including a thermostat setback policy and use of green cleaning chemicals.

Tohio-state-university[1]he Ohio State University: OSU has been designated a Tree Campus USA for three years. OSU’s extension is continually working to raise awareness of the social and economic benefits trees provide through its ‘Why Trees Matter’ program.

University of Iowa: UI has been designated a Tree Campus USA for five years. The University of Iowa Campus looking west from Old Capitol and the Pentacrest.UI has more than 7,700 trees on campus, and plants 300 news trees every year.

University of Louisiana Lafayette: UL Lafayette has been designated a Tree Campus USA for five years. The campus has implemented a number of green initiatives including Acorns of Hope, aLafayette,_Louisiana-Ullaf[1] joint project with local non-profit Bob’s Tree Preservation to reforest the eroding coastline of South Louisiana.

University of Louisville: University_of_Louisville,_Belknap_Campus,_from_Eastern_Parkway_overpass[1]The U of L has been designated a Tree Campus USA for four years. The campus has more than 2,500 trees and a number of programs in place to maintain its greenery.

The Real March Madness – Spring has Sprung on Tree Campus USA Campuses Across the Great Plains

Of the 68 National Collegiate Athletic Association teams playing in this year’s tournament, we found 29 colleges that have been recognized as 2013 Tree Campus USA’s. Our NCAA series continues with the following list of Tree Campus USA’s in the Great Plains region.

Creighton_mall_west[1]Creighton University: Creighton has been designated a Tree Campus USA for six years. Creighton was also recognized in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges, the only Nebraska college to earn such recognition.

Kansas State University: KSU received recognition ANDERSON[1]as a Tree Campus USA for the first time in 2013. KSU’s campus is also an arboretum and offers visitors self-guided tree tours.

North Dakota State University: NDSU has been designated a Tree Campus USA for three years. The campus arboretum crew at NDSU plants 50-75 trees every year.NDSU

Oklahoma State University: OSU-Library[1]OSU has been designated a Tree Campus USA for three years.

SLUSaint Louis University: SLU has been designated a Tree Campus USA for two years. The university has also been named a ‘Cool School’ by the Sierra Club for its commitment to sustainability.

KUUniversity of Kansas: KU has been designated a Tree Campus USA for two years.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln: UNL has been designated a unlTree Campus USA for six years. The campus landscape services maintain more than 9,000 trees across the two campuses. The landscape is valued at more than $9.1 million.

The Real March Madness – Spring has Sprung on Tree Campus USA Campuses Across the West

When folks think of a quality institution of higher learning, they often think of academics, athletics, and the quality of life on campus, which includes its natural beauty, of which trees play a major part. Of the 68 National Collegiate Athletic Association teams playing in this year’s tournament, we found 29 colleges that have been recognized as 2013 Tree Campus USA’s. Our NCAA series will highlight the 2013 recognized Tree Campus USA schools as divided by region. Below is our first list of NCAA Tree Campus USA teams in the West Region.

igwKFmtSCJdY[1]Arizona State University: ASU has been recognized as a Tree Campus USA for six years. ASU’s Tempe campus encompasses Arizona’s largest public arboretum with more than 900 species and is nationally recognized. It’s also the oldest continually managed green space in Arizona.

campus[1]University of Arizona: The UA has been recognized as a Tree Campus USA for five years. In addition, UA received a gold rating for sustainability in 2012 by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

Stanford University: Stanford is new to the Tree Campus USA community, gaining recognition for the first time in 2013. location[1]The campus also recognizes ‘significant trees’ — trees selected as outstanding and deserving of special protection because of their rarity, age, or historical importance.

University of Colorado- Boulder: CU has been recognized as a Tree Campus USA for four years. campusphoto[1]CU isn’t only working to make their campus greener, but their stadiums too. Ralphie’s Green Stampede is a campus initiative to move toward a zero-waste football stadium, converting virtually all public food and beverage packaging to recyclable or compostable materials and containers.

Texas Southern University: TSU has been a designated Tree Campus USA for three years.TSU_SB[1]

University of Texas Austin: UT has been designated a Tree Campus USA for 6 years, University of Texas Austin campus at sunset-dusk - aerial viewand is one of the first three campuses in the nation to become a Tree Campus USA. UT’s trees are estimated to be valued at $25 million.

Weber State University: 8421682_orig[1]WSU has been designated a Tree Campus USA for three years. WSU has also been listed in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2013 Edition for demonstrating notable commitments to sustainability in academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation.

Celebrating Forests Today and Every Day

Did you know that today is the International Day of Forests, as proclaimed by the United Nations?

We may think we grasp the importance of rain forests throughout the world and temperate SONY DSCdeciduous forests in our country, but forests play a much larger role than many of us realize. Today marks the global celebration of forests. International Day of Forests sets to raise awareness on the importance of all types of forests and trees outside of forests.

In the words of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, “As we deliberate on the post-2015 development agenda, let us acknowledge the vital role of forests and pledge to work together to protect and sustainably manage these vital ecosystems.”

Consider these facts from the United Nations:

  • Forests cover 1/3 of the Earth’s land mass.
  • Approximately 1.6 billion people – including more than 2,000 indigenous cultures –depend on forests for their livelihood. JaguarForests also provide shelter, jobs and security for forest dependent communities.
  • Forests are the most biologically diverse ecosystems on land, home to more than 80% of the terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects.
  • Forests play a key role in our attempt to adapt to and mitigating climate change. For example, they protect watersheds, which supply 75% of freshwater worldwide.

Muir Woods, Mill Valley, CAYet, despite the vital role forests play in the ecological, economic and social realms of human and planetary existence, we continue to witness global deforestation at an alarming rate. According to the United Nations, deforestation accounts for 12 to 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

Learn more about what the Arbor Day Foundation is doing to protect and replant our nation’s forests as well as forests throughout the world at www.arborday.org/replanting and www.arborday.org/programs/rainforest.

MLB Community Forestry Match Up: Cactus League v. Grapefruit League

cactus_st_logo[1] For baseball enthusiasts, it may not feel like spring until Major League Baseball spring training begins. With a few days left until opening day, we thought it appropriate to hold a match-up of our own in comparing a few of the host cities’ community forestry accomplishments.

Phoenix

PhoenixPhoenix has more to offer than year-long sunshine and desert. This city of one million residents is adorned with more than 92,000 trees throughout the greater Phoenix area.  These trees have benefited the city in several ways. Property value in Phoenix has increased by more than $3 million as a result of the benefits trees provide. With an annual average of more than 200 days of sunshine, it’s a good idea that the city would plant trees to help provide shade on hot days and cool things off a bit. In fact, the city’s tree canopy saves $1.1 million annually in energy costs as result of the cooling that city trees provide. Not a bad deal for living in the desert. In fact, in 2009 Phoenix set a goal to increase its tree canopy coverage from 8% to 25% by the year 2030.  In addition, Phoenix has been designated a Tree City USA community for 28 years, and Growth Award recipient 18 years.

Glendale

glendaleGlendale, a growing city of more than 220,000 residents, is home to major sports venues including the University of Phoenix Stadium. Glendale boasts more than 21,000 trees that offer visitors plenty of shade under which to cool off. In fact, the city’s tree canopy helps lower energy cost by more than $116,000 a year.  Glendale’s property value has increased by nearly $500,000 as a result of the tree landscape, something residents are sure to appreciate. In addition, Glendale has been designated a Tree City USA community for 18 years.

Tampa

tampaTampa, home to more than 300,000 people, features a wonder of natural sights and attractions. Among things to enjoy in the area are some of the city’s 7.8 million trees. The trees throughout the city provide approximately $3.9 million in energy savings annually. Tampa’s tree canopy coverage is at an impressive 28%. Tampa has been recognized as a Tree City USA community for 32 years.

 

Orlando

LakeEolaOrlando504044[1]Orlando, a city of a quarter of a million people and the theme park capital of the United States, provides plenty of greenery to enjoy in between thrilling rides. Whether you’re a city slicker or tree hugger, Orlando’s 88,000 trees are something that any local or visitor can appreciate. The city launched Green Works Orlando in 2007— a plan to improve environmental sustainability in Orlando during the next generation. Since its launch, the city has saved more than $1million annually in energy costs. Orlando has a tree canopy coverage of 26%. In addition, Orlando has been designated a Tree City USA community for 37 years and Growth Award recipient for23 years.

Community forestry programs are an asset to cities, communities, and neighborhoods, contributing to their environmental and economic well-being. The benefits made possible by a healthy, vibrant community tree canopy are enjoyed by the current and future generations.

Which Cactus League or Grapefruit League city do you think earns the title in our MLB Community Forestry Match Up?


 

Spring has Sprung! Which trees are attracting what birds to your yard?

This time of year, we experience the arrival of spring, the leafing out of our precious trees, and take comfort in the greening of our community and the joy of the songbird.  This benefit of trees – this experience – brings forth pleasurable feelings and emotions, and creates fond memories that are priceless.

Thank you for your responses to our recent post “Planting Trees to Attract Birds.

Let’s take a look at which trees are attracting what birds to your yards.Live-Oak_1-876Sargent-Crabapple_1-821Japanese-Dogwood_1-830

 

Top five responses:

1. Oak (Live Oak and Red Oak)

2. Dogwood

3. Serviceberry

4. Juniper

5. Crabapple and Mulberry

Honorable mention:

holly, American mountainash, apple, aucuba, boxwood, butterfly bush, chokeberry,  cypress, elderberry,  fir, forsythia, hazel, hemlock,   laurel, lilac, maple, Norway spruce, pear, raspberry, saucer magnolia, white pine, and wild cherry.

We also had a plethora of responses regarding the type of birds our members and followers see visiting their yards.

Cardinal photo credit Brian GudzevichChickadee photo credit Eugene BeckesBluebird photo credit Henry T McLin

 

Top five most common birds:

1. Cardinals

2. Chickadees

3. Woodpeckers

4. Bluejays

5. Hummingbirds

Other birds that folks are seeing in their yards are wrens, robins, sparrows, catbirds, owls, crows, warblers, mockingbirds, and bluebirds!

Thanks for sharing with us!

Any other trees or birds you’d like to add to the list?