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 28th annual Arbor Day Awards celebration held here on Saturday, April 29. The awards ceremony is part of the Arbor Day weekend celebration held in Nebraska City from April 28-30.
Award winners are recognized for their leadership in the cause of tree planting, conservation, and environmental stewardship. The 2000 National Arbor Day Award honorees are:
--Congressman Ralph Regula, representing Ohio’s 16th District, winner of the Foundation's highest individual honor, the J. Sterling Morton Award for exemplary conservation work at the national or international level. As chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior in the U.S. House of Representatives, Representative Regula leads a panel with jurisdiction over all public lands, including the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service, along with the U.S. Geological Survey and Bureau of Indian Affairs. He is also active in urban conservation issues, and he and his family have planted a forest of 30,000 trees on their own farm in Ohio.
--Charles Strauss, of Accident, Maryland, recipient of the Lawrence Enersen Award for outstanding tree planting and conservation work at the community level. A retired teacher who has touched thousands through his environmental education efforts, Strauss established the outdoor education facility now known as the Hickory Environmental Education Center.
--Harold and Betty Wilson, Martin, Tennessee, winners of one of five Good Steward Awards. The Good Steward Award recognizes those who practice stewardship through their conservation work on private property. Harold and Betty own and maintain the 329-acre Wilson Tree Farm, which includes 19 ponds, a lake, 7 waterfalls, and thousands of trees. The farm is part of the Stewardship Forest Program and a member of the Tree Farm System.
--Roy Malone, of Dexter, Georgia, winner of a Good Steward Award for his life-time commitment to tree planting and conservation. Roy and his wife Sarah have owned the 900-acre Goose Hollow Farm for the past 56 years and have operated it as a certified tree farm for nearly four decades. The farm earned its name because of the many geese that stop there for food and shelter.
--Lyle and Laurene Shaffer, Cygnet, Ohio, recognized with a Good Steward Award for their leadership in conservation and tree planting. Since 1972 they have planted several miles of windbreaks, and they have long pioneered conservation tillage and no-till techniques to prevent erosion.
-- Big Cedar Lodge and Top of the Rock Golf Course, Ridgedale, Missouri, winner of a Good Steward Award. This Jack Nicklaus course, under the direction of Natural Resources Manager Terry Frost, models such innovative practices as enhanced wildlife and habitat management, environmentally friendly chemical usage, water quality management, resource conservation, and an educational outreach program. More than 2,000 trees have been planted over the past three years at the course.
--Menominee Tribal Enterprises, the entity managing the Menominee Tribe in Neopit, Wisconsin, recipient of the final 2000 Good Steward Award for its sustainable management of 220,000 acres of reservation. Menominee tribal leaders have practiced sustainable forestry for nearly 150 years, producing and marketing a great deal of usable lumber while also preserving the forest for future generations.
--Sheldon Barney, Green River, Wyoming, winner of the Lady Bird Johnson award, given for exemplary leadership in roadside beautification. Since his retirement in 1988, Barney has planted and cared for hundreds of trees along Interstate 80 in southwest Wyoming, earning recognition from many environmental and conservation groups.
--The Federated Garden Clubs of Maryland, also recognized with the Lady Bird Johnson Award. Over the past 40 years the Club has provided large caliper trees for roadside beautification and has sponsored and funded more than 50 tree planting projects along Maryland highways.
--The Phillips Environment-Transportation-Community (ETC), Minneapolis, Minnesota, recipient of one of five 2000 Project Awards in recognition of outstanding collaborative efforts involving tree planting and environmental stewardship. The Phillips ETC collaborated with the Minneapolis Parks & Recreation Board and the Twin Cities Tree Trust to plant trees at 42 boulevard addresses and in two area parks. The Phillips ETC was created to coordinate environmental projects in the Phillips neighborhood of South Minneapolis and involves diverse citizens in tree planting, community gardening, and neighborhood park renovation.
--The Capital Area Greenbelt Association, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, winner of a Project Award. The Capital Area Greenbelt was originally designed in 1904 to encircle Harrisburg and cross five municipalities, though the project was never completed. Through the work of Norm Lacasse, Pennsylvania Urban Forestry Coordinator, and thousands of volunteers, the 20-mile greenway has been restored and completed.
--The New York Restoration Project, New York, New York, winner of a Project Award for its work in uncovering, reclaiming, and cleaning neglected public spaces. Launched by entertainer Bette Midler in 1995, the project has reclaimed more than 119 abandoned acres, including four miles of covered pathways in historic Highbridge Park along the Harlem River, and has helped make the 200 acres of Fort Tryon, Gorman, and Washington Parks clean and safe. Currently the Project is working with the Trust For the Public Land to save 112 community gardens in New York City.
--Fauna & Flora International’s Global Trees Campaign, Cambridge, England, honored with a Project Award for its work to save the world’s most threatened tree species. The Campaign has identified more than 20 projects, with plans now being implemented in Malaysia, Vietnam, Jamaica, Panama, Mexico, and Brazil.
--The Iowa Buffer Alliance, Des Moines, Iowa, recipient of the final 2000 Project Award for establishing thousands of acres of conservation buffers. Since its creation in 1997 the Alliance has improved water quality, provided more wildlife habitat, and enhanced the environmental quality of private land.
--Huber Ridge Elementary School, Westerville, Ohio, winner of the 2000 Education Award, designed to recognize educational programs that are worthy models for others. Huber Ridge fifth-graders launched Project Spring Run last year to clean local Spring Run Stream of asphalt and concrete debris. Their work with local government officials and others also resulted in the planting of vegetation along the stream to reduce erosion and pollution and to create new wildlife habitat.
--The Tour des Trees, sponsored by The International Society of Arboriculture’s Research Trust, Champaign, Illinois, winner of this year’s Public Relations Award. The tour is a cycling and fundraising event that has generated more than a million dollars since 1992 for the Research Trust, which provides money for scientific research on trees and tree care. In the 1999 Tour, nearly 50 riders bicycled from Albany, New York, to Stamford, Conn., raising money through pledges and garnering media attention at each stop. Last year the Tour was covered by the Associated Press, ABC, and National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” as well as by local stations in New York and Connecticut.
--Scott Thompson, a television journalist known as “The Oklahoma Traveler,” recipient of the 2000 Media Award. Thompson, week night co-anchor at Tulsa’s KOTV, has received three Emmy Awards and two Edward R. Murrow Awards in broadcast journalism. His “Oklahoma Traveler” series often features stories about trees, and his environmental contributions include serving as the first tree