Evan Barnard Receives 2015 Arbor Day Award

Nebraska City, Neb. (April 10, 2015) – Evan Barnard is the recipient of a 2015 Arbor Day Award in honor of his outstanding contribution to tree planting, conservation and stewardship, the Arbor Day Foundation announced today.

Evan Barnard is one of 13 individuals, organizations and companies being recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation during the annual Arbor Day Awards. This year's ceremony will be held at Lied Lodge & Conference Center, located at Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City, Nebraska, on Saturday, April 25.

Evan Barnard will receive the Award for Education Innovation.

Evan Barnard, a 16 year-old junior at Johns Creek, Georgia, High School, began his conservation work on a Braille trail -- a nature trail with Braille signage and guide ropes to improve access for the visually impaired. Soon, interest in Evan's work grew – a story appeared on the international Braille blog and he was contacted from across the nation about establishing Braille trails.

The ability for the visually impaired to walk freely along a trail is a unique opportunity for those usually unable to enjoy the forest. One person commented on how long it had been since he had been in nature and connected with trees, and how much it meant to him. This life-altering experience would not have been possible were it not for Evan Barnard.

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.

About the Arbor Day Foundation: The Arbor Day Foundation is a million member nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. More information is available at arborday.org.