National Arbor Day Foundation Announces Annual Awards
Nebraska City, Neb.--Leaders in tree planting and environmental stewardship from around the country and world will be honored by The National Arbor Day Foundation at its 29th annual Arbor Day Awards celebration held here on Saturday, April 28. The awards ceremony is part of the Arbor Day weekend celebration held in Nebraska City from April 27-29.
Award winners are recognized for their leadership in the cause of tree planting, conservation, and environmental stewardship. The 2001 National Arbor Day Award honorees are:
--John W. Mixon, of Forsyth, Georgia, winner of the Foundation’s highest individual honor, the J. Sterling Morton Award for exemplary conservation work at the national or international level. Mixon’s career in forestry spanned 34 years in both industry and state organizations and involved several innovative programs. Mixon’s contributions include organizing and directing the highly successful Urban Forestry Program, which has been implemented across the state of Georgia. As the Chief of Forest Research, Mixon was instrumental in promoting wood as an alternate source of energy. Upon becoming director or the Georgia Forestry Commission in 1983, he launched a vigorous reforestation campaign on a county-by-county basis that resulted in landowners and foresters in the state setting a world record for number of trees planted in a single season. The commission also established one of the largest tree nurseries and seed orchard complexes in the world during his administration.
--Frankie Sue Del Papa, of Carson City, Nevada, recipient of the Frederick Law Olmsted Award. The award recognizes work at the state or regional level that exemplifies commitment to tree planting and conservation in the improvement of America’s communities and landscapes. As the Attorney General for the state of Nevada, Del Papa is a strong advocate for the environment and tree planting. Her most recent project is Trees 2000, with a goal of planting drought-resistant and regionally appropriate trees and wildflowers in every part of Nevada’s diverse landscape. The project is co-sponsored by the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Service, the USDA Forest Service, and the Nevada Division of Forestry. Now in her third term as Attorney General, Ms. Del Papa’s other efforts include spearheading tree-planting work in her role as chair of Nevada’s 125th Birthday Celebration in 1990.
--Wendy Ball, of Windsor, Colorado, recipient of a 2001 Lawrence Enersen Award for outstanding tree planting and conservation work at the community level. For more than a decade Ball has been instrumental in revitalizing Windsor’s community forest, including through her service on Windsor’s Tree Board and her work in implementing a comprehensive tree ordinance. She also plans and helps find financing for the community’s annual Arbor Day celebrations and has served on the Board of the Colorado Tree Coalition since it began in 1991.
--Michael Giudici, of Davenport, Iowa, winner of the second 2001 Lawrence Enersen Award for his ongoing work in reforesting Davenport after the devastation of Dutch Elm disease. A cardiologist practicing in Davenport, Guidici founded the Green Way Habitat Program in 1992. Since then, the group has planted 6,500 street trees, and Guidici continues his work in tree planting and education about the importance of a healthy community forest.
--Harry E. Dailey, of Cedarville, Illinois, winner of a Good Steward Award that recognizes those who practice stewardship through their conservation work on private property. Dailey has purchased and reclaimed more than 100 acres of neglected land, adding a pond and implementing an effective tree- and shrub-planting program. Since beginning his work in 1979, he has now planted 2,000 dogwoods and 1,500 mixed pine and hardwood trees. He has also planted native
grass and plum trees to enhance wildlife habitat, and has passed his love of tree planting and conservation on to younger family members to continue his work.
--Leroy Orsburn, of Wewoka, Oklahoma, winner of the second 2001 Good Steward Award for his lifetime commitment to tree planting and conservation. A retired farmer and rancher, in 1990 Orsburn started a wildlife habitat improvement plot on land he donated to the Seminole County 4-H Club. Orsburn also provided seedlings and equipment for planting, and under his direction 4-H members have planted trees for conservation and wildlife enhancement. He also schedules and teaches day camps at the site, which is now used as an outdoor classroom for area schools and youth groups.
--The Texas Department of Transportation, winner of the 2001 Lady Bird Johnson award, given for exemplary leadership in roadside beautification. The Houston District of the Texas Department of Transportation has long utilized planting schemes and methods to beautify highways. Many of these plans have succeeded despite climatic obstacles, with a recent major planting achieving a 90% survival rate during one of the hottest and driest summers in decades.
--The Corridor Habitat Initiative, Bloomington, Minnesota, recipient of one of five 2001 Project Awards in recognition of outstanding collaborative efforts involving tree planting and environmental stewardship. The Initiative is a community forestry program designed to lower maintenance costs while environmentally enhancing the land within transmission line right-of-way corridors. The program is administered through the Tree Trust in partnership with the City of Bloomington and was started in 1998. Xcel Energy (formerly known as Northern States Power) sponsors the program, which enriches the area underneath their transmission lines and reduces the maintenance costs of the transmission right-of-ways.
--General Electric Power Systems, of Schenectady, New York, winner of a Project Award. General Electric has transformed much of its 320-acre facility, which employs 4,500 people, back to green spaces and has planted more than 2,200 trees. The area, which is the original 1886 site of Thomas Edison’s machine works plant, now boasts such recreational areas as tennis courts and baseball and soccer fields.
--Greenspace—The Cambria Land Trust, Cambria, California, winner of a Project Award for its conservation work in the North Coast Area of California’s San Luis Obispo County. Greenspace protects and enhances the area’s ecological systems through land acquisition and management, public education, and advocacy. The group was founded in 1988, with one of its current achievements being the preservation of the Cambria Monterey Pine Forest, which contains one of the five remaining populations of Monterey pines.
--The Nashville Tree Foundation, Nashville, Tennessee, honored with a Project Award for ReLeaf Nashville, an effort begun to reforest Nashville’s urban forest after the devastating tornadoes of 1998. ReLeaf Nashville includes a five-year plan that has already been responsible for planting thousands of large-caliper trees and developing educational and promotional materials. The Nashville Tree Foundation raised more than a million dollars to help reforest the city.
--The Tazewell-Mason Counties Special Education Association (TMCSEA), of Pekin, Illinois, recipient of the final 2001 Project Award. In 1997, the TMCSEA began creating a wheelchair-
accessible nature trail in its 7-acre educational center. With community support, the Association completed the project in 1998 and added onto it in 1999 and 2000. In addition to the accessible trail, improvements include planting more trees and flowerbeds and adding new playground equipment as well as a pavilion, picnic shelters, and a paved trail.
--The Dickinson West Elementary School fifth-grade class, of Hamtramck, Michigan, winner of a 2001 Education Award, designed to recognize education