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Arbor Day Foundation Recognizes Builders and Developers Who Save Trees

date 05/30/03

For more information, contact

Jeff Salem, Director of Communications & Public Relations,   email

Nebraska City, Neb. -- Conservation-minded builders and developers around the country have been named to receive 2003 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 2003 Building With Trees Awards of Excellence are:

The Eagles Club at Quail Hollow, developed by Pulte Homes of Ohio, Concord Township, Ohio. The project design team visited each established tree several times in the planning of this 115-home development. Significant trees to be saved were flagged and homes were carefully sited around trees based on the initial assessments of the design team. A booklet explaining the ideas used to preserve trees was produced to help educate homebuyers about how the homes were strategically located and built.

The 4,400-acre FishHawk Ranch, developed by Newland Communities, Lithia, Fla. FishHawk Ranch, located in the Tampa Bay area, combines 1,200 homes and 1,500 acres of open space and preservation land, with 18 miles of recreational trails. In addition to preserving and transplanting existing trees, developers landscaped with native species to reduce irrigation needs. Utility lines were installed under streets to save trees lining sidewalks and curbs.

Riderwood Village, developed by Erickson Retirement Communities, Silver Spring, Md. The Riderwood project earned distinction for cooperating with two counties in the planning of this 2,000-unit retirement community. The result was a tree conservation plan exceeding standards for both counties, with five distinct neighborhoods connected by tree-shaded paths. Judges noted Riderwood has been designed to allow residents to easily interact with nature.

Bailey's Grove, developed by Eastbrook Homes, Kentwood, Mich. Combining homes, condominiums, apartments and wooded open space, Bailey's Grove is a development that incorporates a variety of practices to save trees and reduce the impact of construction. Narrow streets, islands placed in the middle of cul de sacs, preservation of drainage and wetland areas, and clustering of buildings and new tree plantings led to Bailey's Grove being called "one of the best examples of how development should be done in Michigan" by the state Department of Environmental Quality.

Waterchase, developed by Taylor Woodrow Communities, Tampa, Fla. Developers of Waterchase transplanted more than 200 trees to the entrance drive of this 500-acre site. Consisting of a roundabout, clubhouse, 250 homes and the entrance drive thus far, Waterchase was also recognized for the preservation of 80 live and laurel oak trees in planning.

IslandWood, developed by The Brainerd Foundation, Bainbridge Island, Wash. Built to house the Puget Sound Environmental Learning Center, IslandWood provides a learning experience to 4th and 5th graders on retreat to 255-acres of forest. Complete with a "living machine" that cleans and treats wastewater using natural processes, a restored pond and biomass demonstrations, the project used sustainably harvested timber in 75 percent of the construction.

Rodine Global Ministry Building, Bannockburn, Ill. This exemplary project on the campus of Trinity International University required construction of the building, parking lot and access road on an oak and hickory savannah. An inventory of existing trees led to layout changes reducing construction impact on trees. Preservation fencing, pruning of roots and deadwood, and transplanting young saplings to other areas of the campus helped in successfully completing the project, and demonstrated the university's commitment to saving trees to students, faculty and staff.

Maple Valley Library, part of the King County Library System, Issaquah, Wash. Construction of the Maple Valley Library required displacing about a third of the 157 trees growing on the property. A detailed inventory helped determine which trees would be saved, and which could be moved to create a wooded area leading to the city street. Small excavations of the site were done by hand, and the project routed trenches and utility connections around root systems. Fines were assessed to ensure protection of trees, and replacement was required if any tree sustained damage during construction.

The Wal-Mart Supercenter at Bradenton, Fla., developed by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Concern that residential homes wouldn't be buffered from the development of a new Wal-Mart Supercenter initially kept the site from being developed. Project managers gained approval to vary county regulations on parking spaces and islands in order to preserve trees. Construction was delayed to allow relocation of trees to the area perimeter to serve as a screen. A creek was added to help reduce the impact of storm water run-off. This helped create a public space between the residential and retail developments satisfying both citizens and developers.

The Daniel Island Club in Charleston, S.C., developed by The Daniel Island Company. Ranked 29th out of 100 courses nationwide by Golf Week as one of the Best Real Estate Courses, The Daniel Island Club is an excellent example of what can be achieved when developers and architects work towards a common goal of saving trees. With the help of arborists, developers were able to save 80 percent of the trees initially suggested for removal. Additional native species were planted to enhance the design of the course.

A jury of development industry and urban forestry professionals selected the award winners. Criteria considered includes: 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, held Sept. 29 through Oct. 1, 2003. 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 402-474-5655 or by visiting the programs portion of the website.

To receive a free booklet on the Building With Trees recognition program, contact The National Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska City, NE 68410, tel. 402-474-5655, or visit the Foundation's website at The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit education organization dedicated to tree planting and environmental stewardship.

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