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Builders and Developers Recognized in Building With Trees Award Program

date 07/21/05

For more information, contact

Jeff Salem, Director of Communications & Public Relations,   email

Nebraska City, Neb., July 21, 2005 — Conservation-minded builders and developers around the country have been named to receive 2005 Awards of Excellence in the Building With Trees recognition program. The program, sponsored by The National Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of Home Builders and Firewise Communities, recognizes builders and developers who save trees during construction and land development.

Winners of the 2005 Building With Trees Awards of Excellence are:

Residential Development Category of 26 to 100 lots
Brookside Development, developed by Langston Development Company of Westfield, Indiana
On this 152-acre site, the developer saw a way to build around 900 mature trees and six lakes. By consulting a registered arborist, the developer cleared along a creek and saved many healthy trees. Specific tree preservation areas were plotted on engineered drawings after a predevelopment inventory for the whole property was done. Retaining walls were installed and the lake bank was stabilized to limit erosion. Sewers and utilities were planned specifically to avoid trees, and roads were adjusted wherever possible.

Residential Development Category of 101 to 500 lots
Grande Dunes, Phase 1; developed by Grande Dunes Development Company, LLC of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Bordered on one side by the Atlantic Ocean, Grande Dunes is a 2,200-acre development. The main artery includes extensive bicycle lanes and was planned around a heavily treed area, with modified grading and storm drainage that will help protect crucial root zones. The developers also used native laurel oaks, both planting new seedlings and transplanting trees in the design. Before building, the Grande Dunes Architectural Review Committee created a strict protocol for tree preservation, which includes an inventory of trees and shrubs, accommodation of significant trees and shrubs, transplanting where feasible, pruning, and sturdy root zone fencing.

Residential 501 or more lots
Serrano, developed by Parker Development of El Dorado Hills, California

In an area of 3,500 acres, every effort was made to limit the number of trees that could have been moved during building. Homes, parks, green belts, a golf course, and open space make up this development. The golf course was designed and built around trees. Every tree was inventoried and decisions were made according to which design would save the greatest number of trees. In the end, only 7% of the existing trees were removed. Homeowners are required to plant one tree per every 35 feet of frontage and a minimum of two trees in their backyards.

Residential 501 or more lots
Woodlands Edge, developed by Rocket Properties, LLC of Little Rock, Arkansas

A 95% forested, 460-acre development, Woodlands Edge has a common forested green belt that connects to the back yards of almost every home. Designed to preserve natural vegetation, entryways and buffer areas contain a mix of hardwoods and pine. Native trees and vegetation were predominantly used in plantings.

Wal-Mart Supercenter of Oldsmar, Florida; developed by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. of Bentonville, Arkansas

Some 1,400 trees were saved in building the new 208,000 square foot Wal-Mart Supercenter. Extensive surveying was done before the site was laid out, resulting in a plan that called for an entire wetland to be transplanted. Cutting edge techniques were used to move the 4.9-acre cypress tree wetland ecosystem. With other considerations in the development process, the nearly 1,400 trees are thriving today.

A jury of development industry and urban forestry professionals selected the award winners. Criteria considered: creativity and attention to protecting trees during planning, design and construction; planting and providing for long-term tree care; demonstrating a commitment to tree protection by having a certified tree-care professional on the development team; taking inventory of existing trees and using information to help preserve trees; and adherence to tree protection goals throughout the construction process.

The Awards of Excellence will be presented to developers later this year at the Arbor Day Foundation's Building for Greener Communities National Conference, to be held Sept. 19-21 at Lied Lodge & Conference Center in Nebraska City, Neb. The conference highlights the awards presentation and provides a national forum to discuss issues of tree protection during land development and construction.

Additional information on the conference is available by calling the Foundation at 888-448-7337 or by visiting the programs portion of the Foundation’s website at A free booklet on the Building With Trees recognition program is also available by calling the Foundation or by visiting, or by writing to The National Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska City, NE 68410. The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit, environmental education organization that inspires people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees.

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