Arbor Day Award Winner Highlights: Public Awareness of Trees 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.

Public Awareness of Trees Award—American Chestnut Foundation:

DSC_0109

Bryan Burhans from the American Chestnut Foundation plants a tree at Arbor Lodge State Historical Park. Photo by Carrie Benes.

The Public Awareness of Trees award is presented to an organization or individual whose innovative work elevates the public awareness and understanding of the importance of trees.

The American Chestnut tree comprised more than 200 million acres of eastern woodlands up until the first half of the 20th century when the chestnut blight infested the region, affecting one-fourth of the hardwood tree population. The mission of the American Chestnut Foundation is to restore this tree to our eastern woodlands to benefit our environment, our wildlife and our communities.

The return of the chestnut to its former role in the Appalachian hardwood forest ecosystem is a major restoration project that requires a multi-faceted effort involving extensive public engagement.

The foundation has two major public awareness initiatives: the American Chestnut Learning Box—an educational tool that brings the story of the chestnut to classrooms, nature canters and civic groups—and The Charlie Chestnut Environmental Education Program—curriculum designed to inspire students to learn more about the environment and American chestnuts. With 16 state chapters and more than 5,000 members, the American Chestnut Foundation is better able to generate public awareness toward the campaign.

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: Award for Excellence in Volunteer Management

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.

Award for Excellence in Volunteer Management—University of California-Irvine Shadetree Nursery:

The award for Excellence in Volunteer Management is presented to a community, group, or organization for their outstanding efforts to mobilize and engage volunteers in tree planting and care within a community.

DSC_0128

Matt Deires of the University of California Irvine plants a tree with his parents Peg & Maurie at Arbor Lodge State Historical Park. Photo by Carrie Benes.

Established in 1996 as a three-way partnership between the University of California-Irvine, the Irvine Ranch Water District, and the nonprofit Shadetree Partnership, this long-term community partnership provides trees and support for community tree planting projects throughout southern California.

The Shadetree Nursery Program provides guidance to communities and volunteer coordinators on planting, site selection and provides tools, volunteer training and education at no cost.  The work volunteers do is essential to providing quality nursery stock to be planted on public lands, whether it’s repotting trees or weeding and raking.

The Shadetree Nursery Program successfully led the way in expanding the local tree canopy through volunteer efforts with more than 30,000 shade trees planted during the past 19 years through volunteer tree planting projects.

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.

Spring Tree Blooming, Planting (and shipping) is Underway

righttreeplaceThe vivid blooms of spring trees and shrubs are one of the season’s absolute highlights for many of us—from the magnolias and forsythias that herald the start of the season to the redbuds, crabapples and flowering cherries that steal the show with their spectacular displays, to the heavenly scent of lilacs that pervade gardens and yards this time of year…giving us pause, and almost always, an involuntary, “ahhh.” It’s a season that seems to intrinsically say to us, “let’s grow something!”

Forsythia_2-840Saucer-Magnolia_2-862 (1)Fragrant-Lilac_1-856

Have you done your tree and shrub planting for this year? Depending on where you are in the country, planting season may be at its height, or perhaps may have just passed. For places in higher Hardiness Zones, i.e. much of the west coast and southern U.S., the window of time for planting has likely passed–it’s already getting quite warm in those regions, which isn’t going to give your new tree its best chance at survival and growth.

 hardiWhat’s a Hardiness Zone? The Plant Hardiness Zones divide the United States and Canada into 11 areas based on a 10 degree Fahrenheit difference in the average annual minimum temperature. (The United States falls within Zones 2 through 10). For example, the lowest average temperature in Zone 2 is -50 to -40 degrees Fahrenheit, while the minimum average temperature in zone 10 is +30 to +40 degrees Fahrenheit. Learn more about Hardiness Zones at arborday.org.

But in other parts of the country, for example, the northern, midwestern, northeastern and more inland northwest, planting time for trees and shrubs is in full swing. Maybe you’ve got a bare, new yard, or perhaps you’re adding to an existing array of trees and shrubs. Need some landscape design inspiration? Arborday.org has free, professionally designed landscape plans that focus on trees and shrubs, available to anyone for download. One such plan is called the Flowering Green Giant, a design combining a beautifully contrasting trio of trees—the rich green of a Green Giant Arborvitae, the sprightly, springtime yellow of Forsythia, and the dazzling profusion of white blooms that grace the Yoshino Cherry Tree.  Other designs include the a bird-attracting tree/shrub combination (Bird Magnet Hedgerow), a blooming shrub plan set beneath an existing shade tree (Shrubs Under a Shade Tree) , a flowering tree/hedge plan planted along an existing wood line (Flowering Woods Edge), and more!

Know what trees you want but haven’t gotten to ordering them yet? If you’re in Zones 2-5, you can still order trees from the Arbor Day Foundation Online Tree Nursery for large array of affordable trees and shrubs.  (Look up your Hardiness Zone here if you’re not sure what zone you’re in). Because we only send trees at the best time for planting in your area, our final deadline for accepting orders for these higher zones (that will still be delivered this season) is May 14. If your zone’s window for ordering has passed but you’re still full of inspiration and enthusiasm to plant, consider placing your order to prepare for next planting season—your trees will ship to you at the opportune time to plant this coming fall.  Fall planting has many benefits, especially its ability to give trees a fighting chance at establishing and developing strong roots before the harsh heat of summer. Read more about the benefits of fall planting here.

Already have your trees (or have them on the way) and are ready to plant? Consider our 9 Tree Care Tips & Techniques, an easy-to-follow guide that takes you step by step from selecting and planting the right tree, to the care and upkeep of a mature tree. Remember, what you do to your tree in its first few years of life will affect its shape, strength, and even its life span. Planting done with care and some knowledge of trees and their needs will help your trees grow more rapidly and live at least twice as long as improperly planted trees.

Another great source of information is our comprehensive set of Tree City USA Bulletins, which feature in their issues such topics as “How to Select and Plant a Tree,” “Trees for Wildlife,” “How to Landscape to Save Water,” “How to Prevent Tree/Sign Conflicts,” “How Trees Can Save Energy,” “Making Good Use of Small Spaces” and many more.

One last thing—before you get that hole dug and your new tree planted, make sure you’ve got “Right Tree in the Right Place.” Planting an appropriate tree in an appropriate location is vital for the health and longevity of the tree as well as your satisfaction with it—for example, a tree too close to the house could be a hazard, and a tree with “too-tall” potential will be unlikely to remain if it interferes with a power line overhead.tree house

Are you gearing up for planting trees and shrubs right now, or have you just finished? What did you plant? Please let us know in the comments.

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.

DSC_0112

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.

DSC_0118

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.

DSC_0121

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.

DSC_0130

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.