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.

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.