Arbor Day Awards

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2009 National Arbor Day Awards

Project Award

The Village of Wilmette, IL

Wilmette is honored for its proactive response to the dreaded Emerald Ash Borer, and turned a threat into an opportunity. The village was the first community in the Chicago area to discover Emerald Ash Borer infestation; the community leaders immediately launched a multi-faceted campaign to educate its residents about the destructive insect. Village president Chris Canning formed a coalition of partners to help educate residents and secure $7.6 million in Federal Emergency funding to provide residents with low-interest loans to help cover the cost of replanting trees. Wood from Wilmette’s fallen ash trees have been used to make baseball bats for local youth teams, furniture and artwork.

Reforest the Bluegrass of Lexington, KY

Reforest the Bluegrass has brought a community together to plant more than 130,000 trees to restore the streamside forests to an area in and around Lexington. Since 1999, more than 5,000 volunteers have restored more than 105 acres of floodplains in this area. Reforest the Bluegrass is a cooperative effort between several divisions of the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government, and also involves private sponsorships and concerned citizens.

Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association of Fayetteville, AK

Residents in Fayetteville, AK, came up with a unique way to work with city leaders to protect natural areas in the city. They formed the Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association and worked to preserve a tree-covered hillside near downtown that was popular with residents. The association has also helped preserve a 14-acre urban forest in the center of the city, and a 20-acre lot on the city’s west side that allows public access to a trail that wind through a forest. The association has contributed more than $500,000 to the City of Fayetteville to preserve more than 130 acres of natural areas.

The Hardwood Forestry Fund of Reston, VA

The Hardwood Forestry Fund was created in 1990 by concerned members of the Hardwood Plywood and Veneer Association, and serves as a model of sustainability in forest management. The Fund follows best tree-care practices as it creates partnerships with natural resource organizations, universities, extension agencies and forest product companies to establish and sustain hardwood forests. This partnership has sponsored more than 200 unique projects in 26 states to plant and manage trees in our nation’s forests. So far, the Hardwood Forestry Fund is responsible for planting more than 3.7 million trees.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana, Inc.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Indiana (TMMI) serves as a model corporate citizen to the residents of Princeton, Ind. TMMI is working to make its facility in Princeton a sustainable plant, with a goal of eliminating all emissions, utilizing renewable energy sources and planting trees on site. The company started its preservation and sustainable efforts by converting an on-site wooded area into an outdoor classroom, which features hiking trails and 10,000 native species of trees and plants. TMMI has planted more than 22,000 trees on 40.5 acres near the plant’s child care and nature center.

This year’s winners are:

  • Frederick Law Olmsted Award

    • Robert Thibodeaux of Church Point, LA
  • Lawrence Enersen Award

    • Michael Hardy of Philadelphia, PA
  • Lady Bird Johnson Award

    • The Streetscape Program of Fort Myers Beach, FL
  • Rachel Carson Award

    • World Forum Foundation
  • Good Steward Award

    • Blue Valley Ranch of Kremmling, CO
  • Project Award

    • The Village of Wilmette, IL
    • Reforest the Bluegrass of Lexington, KY
    • Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association of Fayetteville, AK
    • The Hardwood Forestry Fund of Reston, VA
    • Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana, Inc.
  • Education Award

    • Tahoma High School's Outdoor Academy of Kent, WA
    • The Kirkwood Junior TreeKeepers of Kirkwood, MO
  • Media Award

    • Louisiana Public Broadcasting's documentary Return to the Forest Where We Live
    • The International Society of Arboriculture's interactive “Planting and Early Care” series
    • The Wild Trees, written by Richard Preston
  • Celebration Award

    • The City of Minneapolis, MN
    • City of Olympia, WA
  • Promise to the Earth Award

    • Allstate Insurance Company
    • Citi Cards

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.