2008 National Arbor Day Awards
The City of Buffalo and Re-Tree Western New York
When Buffalo and surrounding communities were hit by a surprise October snowstorm that dumped more than two feet of wet, heavy snow, the City of Buffalo and Re-Tree Western New York responded with quick action, community spirit and a passion for restoring the urban canopy of their city. As a result of the storm, Buffalo lost an estimated 7,400 trees, and an additional 54,500 trees were destroyed in the surrounding region. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown included $1 million in the city’s 2007–08 budget for citywide tree restoration programs, and the City supported the development of Re-Tree Western New York, which recruited many partners in and around the city to help in the recovery efforts. Re-Tree Western New York planted more than 3,000 trees in its initial year, and is working aggressively to meet its goal of planting 30,000 trees by 2012.
Johnson City Housing Authority
In an effort to beautify eight housing sites totaling more than 100 acres, the Johnson City Housing Authority planted more than 550 trees in a joint effort with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. The housing authority worked with residents to find locations for the trees and solicited their help in planting and after care to ensure the long-term success of the project. The new trees beautified the developments, decreased energy costs, and have given the residents a new sense of pride in their community.
Rain to Recreation
The Rain to Recreation Project was started as an innovative way to manage growing storm water issues and flooding problems in the community. The City of Lenexa determined that a “green-centered” approach would address their needs in an environmentally sensitive way. The city stabilized stream banks and managed storm water flow using natural restoration methods that included the planting of trees, grasses and wildflowers. As a result, citizens enjoy the new 35-acre lake that was created, the 240 acres of parkland that was developed and the three miles of recreational trails that were installed. The project also preserved hundreds of acres of forest land and the creation of wetlands for wildlife habitat.
The USDA Forest Service Living Memorials Project
The USDA Forest Service, at the bequest of the United States Congress, created the Living Memorials Project to honor the losses of September 11, 2001. This initiative invoked the resonating power of trees to bring people together and create lasting, living memorials to the victims of terrorism, their families, communities and nation. To date, more than 600 sites for Living Memorials in all 50 states as well as the United Kingdom, France, Japan and Australia have been recorded by the Forest Service.
This year’s winners are:
- Dr. Peter Raven of St. Louis, MO
- Buck Abbey of Baton Rouge, LA
- Jeunesse Park of Johannesburg, South Africa
- Debbie Mendelson of Woodside, CA
- Green Streets for Omaha, NE
- Long Island Nature Collaborative for Kids of Long Island, NY
- Kurt Berger of Sugar Grove, PA
- Johney Haralson of Denmark, SC
- The Ziolkowski Family of Crazy Horse, SD
- The City of Buffalo and Re-Tree Western New York of Buffalo, NY
- Johnson City Housing Authority of Johnson City, TN
- Rain to Recreation of Lenexa, KS
- The USDA Forest Service Living Memorials Project of Newtown Square, PA
- The Forest Where Ashley Lives by Mark and Ashley Vitosh of Ames, IA
- If I Were a Tree by Dar Hosta of Flemington, NJ
- Eastside Elementary School of Clewiston, FL
- Doubletree Hotels
- Home Depot Foundation
Award winners are recognized for their leadership in the cause of tree planting, conservation,and environmental stewardship.
Leaders in tree planting, conservation, and environmental stewardship from around the country and world are honored each year at our annual Arbor Day Awards celebration held in Nebraska City, Nebraska. The awards ceremony is part of the annual Arbor Day weekend celebration held at Lied Lodge & Conference Center.