Nebraska City, Neb.--Leaders in tree planting and environmental stewardship from around the country and world will be honored by The National Arbor Day Foundation at its 27th annual Arbor Day Awards celebration held here on Saturday, May 1. The awards ceremony is part of the Arbor Day weekend celebration held in Nebraska City from April 30-May 2.
Award winners are recognized for their leadership in the cause of tree planting, conservation, and environmental stewardship. The 1999 National Arbor Day Award honorees are:
--Mayor Richard Daley, Chicago, Illinois, winner of the Foundation's highest individual honor, the J. Sterling Morton Award for exemplary conservation work at the national or international level. He is being recognized for his leadership in revitalizing Chicago's urban forest, providing a model for others to follow through programs like Green Streets.
--Joe Stonis, Cape Coral, Florida, winner of one of two 1999 Lawrence Enersen Awards for outstanding tree planting and conservation work at the community level. Stonis receives the award for his contributions over the last 17 years to change Cape Coral from the "desert of Florida" to the Tree City it is today.
--Jack Herschend, Branson, Missouri, also a winner of a 1999 Lawrence Enersen Award. He has planted more than 100,000 trees in the Ozarks, part of his goal to plant one million trees during his lifetime, and has created the nonprofit organization Gift of Green to help reach his goal. Herschend is also co-founder, co-owner, and chairman of the board of Silver Dollar City, as well as other attractions in the Branson area.
--The Forest Discovery Center, an education center located on the premises of Koetter Woodworking, a hardwood manufacturing facility in Starlight, Indiana, winner of a 1999 Good Steward Award. The Good Steward Award recognizes those who practice stewardship through their conservation work on private property. The 24,000 square foot Discovery Center houses an indoor forest as well as other exhibits to promote responsible forest management. Both the Koetter Woodworking plant and the Discovery Center operate on electricity produced from sawdust.
--Eloise McClendon of Attalla, Alabama, winner of this year's second 1999 Good Steward Award for her life-time commitment to tree planting and conservation. She and her late husband began their 1,800-acre tree farm in 1933, and Eloise has helped plant more than 800,000 trees there. She also promotes environmental stewardship through presentations, demonstrations, scholarships to students, and a museum she built to showcase artifacts from her region.
--The Garden Club of Stone Harbor in Stone Harbor, New Jersey, winner of a 1999 Lady Bird Johnson award, given for exemplary leadership in roadside beautification. For the past 20 years, the club has planted and taken care of trees, flowers, and shrubs along the 40 boulevard traffic islands running through town.
--The Wilshire Center Streetscape Project of Los Angeles, California, winner of the second 1999 Lady Bird Johnson Award. The project is being recognized for its role in transforming an area destroyed by the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Today thousands of trees and flowers have been planted in a 21-block stretch of Wilshire Boulevard, adding beauty and helping attract businesses to the area.
--The Living Memorial Tree Planting Program of the Batesville Casket Company, Batesville, Indiana, recipient of one of five 1999 Project Awards in recognition of outstanding collaborative projects involving tree planting and environmental stewardship. As part of this program, the company plants a tree in a national forest for every casket or cremation urn purchased. Since the program's creation 22 years ago, more than seven million commemorative trees have been planted.
--The Chesapeake Bay Youth Conservation Corps of Chesapeake, Virginia, winner of a 1999 Project Award. The nonprofit program currently works with more than 300 at-risk young people, teaching them the importance of environmental stewardship and good work habits. Projects include restoring stream-side forests, recycling Christmas trees, and other tree planting efforts.
--The New York City Parks and Recreation Department, winner of a 1999 Project Award for such exemplary efforts as the New York City Tree Census and the Green Streets of New York program. The census involved 700 volunteers and resulted in an inventory of every street tree in New York's five boroughs, while the Green Streets program converted paved, unused street properties into green spaces.
--The Rotary Greenway Project of Indianapolis, Indiana, winner of a 1999 Project Award in recognition of its massive, one-day planting project to beautify a 50-block area of Indianapolis. After two years of planning, on June 6, 1998, more than 3,000 participants from 100 countries planted 12,000 plants, including 700 trees.
--The Omaha World-Herald Branching Out Program, Omaha, Nebraska, winner of a 1999 Project Award in honor of its leadership in replacing trees destroyed by the October 26, 1997 snow and ice storm. Less than a week after the storm, the World-Herald launched Branching Out to help restore tens of thousands of trees. The program also includes public education components, with much of the information being passed on to states and towns in the Northeast and other storm-damaged regions.
--Andersen Middle School, Omaha, Nebraska, recipient of one of three 1999 Education Awards, designed to recognize educational programs that are worthy models for others. Over the last 10
years, the school's Environmental Club and its advisor, Libby Putz, have planted hundreds of shrubs, trees, and perennials on the Andersen campus. They have also created an outdoor classroom, butterfly garden, and a pond to help demonstrate the importance of the environment.
--Cenla Pride Environmental Museum and Camp, Alexandria, Louisiana, winner of a 1999 Education Award for its education and outreach programs. Cenla Pride, in cooperation with Kisatchie National Forest, the Alexandria Mall, and the city of Alexandria, created a hands-on learning museum free to visitors. For the past five years, the organization has also sponsored Project TreeScope, an urban forestry day camp for at-risk teens, located at the museum.
--Place Middle School in Denver, Colorado, winner of a 1999 Education Award for its environmental restoration work. Originally built on a landfill and almost bare of trees, the school collaborated with the USDA Forest Service, Denver Parks and Recreation, and the Colorado Division of Wildlife to create an outdoor classroom. Today this space gives students, faculty, and others a place to eat lunch, enjoy the environment, and learn firsthand about environmental stewardship.
--The Idaho Arbor Day Coalition of Boise, Idaho, winner of the 1999 Advertising and Public Relations Award for its multi-media effort to promote Arbor Day 1998. The Coalition is an alliance of state and federal government agencies, private businesses, and other organizations that worked together to reach hundreds of thousands of people across the state, through billboards, newspapers, broadcast media, and Arbor Day special events. As well as promoting Arbor Day, the campaign raised understanding of trees as a renewable resource, generated tree-planting enthusiasm, and increased support for conservation and stewardship of forests.
--Christian Kuchli's book Forests of Hope: Stories of Regeneration, winner of a 1999 Media Award. In his book, Kuchli, an internationally known forester, consultant, and journalist, chronicles organizations in 12 countries that work on behalf of the world's forests. Featuring stories from China to Kenya, Forests of Hope is beautifully illustrated by Kuchli's photographs.
--The Forest Where We Live, produced by Louisiana Public Television, winn