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The Arbor Day Foundation Announces 2019 Arbor Day Award Winners

date 04/18/19

For more information, contact

Jeff Salem, Director of Communications & Public Relations,   email

Leaders in environmental stewardship from across the country recognized with an Arbor Day Award

LINCOLN, Neb., April 18, 2019--The Arbor Day Foundation has announced the recipients of the 2019 Arbor Day awards. Individuals and organizations are being recognized for their outstanding contribution to tree planting, conservation and stewardship. The winners will be presented their award at a reception in their honor in their local community throughout the month of May.

Since 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has recognized the inspiring and life-changing work of leading environmental stewards and tree planters through the annual Arbor Day Awards. Award winners from previous years include the late Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, the United States Forest Service and Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

The Spirit of Arbor Day Award
Friends of Grand Rapids Parks is being honored for their progressive Urban Forest Project, which is leading toward a goal of 40% tree canopy in Grand Rapids, Michigan, through a variety of training programs and educational events, including Kids to Parks Day, BBQ & Beautify, Fall Family Park Fest and Winter West.

The Spirit of Arbor Day award recognizes an organization or community that fulfills the Foundation's mission to "inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees" through programs and activities implemented within the past five years.

The J. Sterling Morton Award
The J. Sterling Morton award recognizes an individual who has had a positive impact on the environment due to his or her lifelong commitment to tree planting and conservation.

Using his expertise as a veterinarian and geneticist at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, Dr. Edward E. Louis, Jr., has embraced biodiversity on the island of Madagascar, along with the challenge to conserve it. The programs he developed have helped plant more than 2 million trees, discovered more than two dozen animal species, supported 68 graduate students, employed 166 Malagasy people full-time and 207 part-time and engaged more than 3,000 Malagasy citizens in planting trees and monitoring lemurs.

The Trailblazer Award
David Moore, Senior Tree Supervisor for the City of Oakland, California, is the recipient of the Trailblazer award, which recognizes an individual under the age of 35 who has demonstrated leadership in forestry, community forestry, research or tree care during the past five years. During his tenure at New York City Parks, David Moore developed a sophisticated system of tree procurement that is a model for urban foresters across the country, and he served as co-chair of the MillionTreesNYC committee. He also served as president of the New York State Urban Forestry Council from 2015-17, where he was highly regarded for his organizational and leadership skills.

The Headwaters Award
Team Willamette of Portland, Oregon, is the 2019 recipient of the Headwaters award, which celebrates innovative programs that support the improvement of water quality and quantity through forestry activities in rural or urban areas.

Team Willamette is a collaborative team of non-profits, state and regional agencies that share messaging and resources as members of the Willamette River Initiative. Over the past seven years, these groups have collectively planted more than 3.9 million trees and shrubs for water quality and habitat improvement in the Willamette Basin.

The Champion of Trees Award
The Champion of Trees award recognizes a government entity, community-based organization or partnership that has demonstrated exemplary leadership to develop and implement new policies and practices for municipal tree planting and care, natural area stewardship or arboriculture.

The City of Charlotte, North Carolina, is being honored for its Tree Canopy Preservation Program (TCPP) which preserves natural areas in the city through voluntary purchases or easements, paid for by fees collected from developers. Since 2014, the city has protected 221 acres, an area three times larger than what would have been protected through traditional tree preservation codes, and acquisitions are targeted for environmental attributes rather than left to developer choice.

The Friend of the Forest Award
Verizon of New York, New York, is the 2019 recipient of the Friend of the Forest award, which recognizes a corporation and its leaders for their commitment to using trees and forests to achieve corporate sustainability goals and targets.

Employee engagement is central to Verizon's sustainability efforts in the U.S. and in 37 countries around the world. Their "Green Teams" include almost 30,000 employees, who serve as 'green ambassadors' in their home communities. Planting trees is a core activity for these employees, and since 2009, Green Team employees have planted more than 685,000 trees, on target to exceed the company goal of planting 2 million trees by 2030.

More information about the awards and past winners can be found at

About the Arbor Day Foundation
Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members, supporters, and valued partners. During the last 45 years, more than 300 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world. Our vision is to help others understand and use trees as a solution to many of the global issues we face today, including air quality, water quality, climate change, deforestation, poverty and hunger.

As one of the world's largest operating conservation foundations, the Arbor Day Foundation, through its members, partners and programs, educates and engages stakeholders and communities across the globe to involve themselves in its mission of planting, nurturing and celebrating trees. More information is available at


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