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2006 National Arbor Day Awards

Award for Education Innovation

Education Award

Citizen Forrester program, Covington, LA

The Citizen Forrester program offered by the Covington Gardens Partnership and St. Tammany Master Gardeners, teaches participants the importance of trees in our everyday lives and also how to help maintain the beauty and health of the plants that give us so many benefits. The program aims to raise community awareness of the value of the urban forest and the need to protect it, and the stipulation that participants complete volunteer service provides a pool of trained volunteers who disseminate information to their neighbors and are valuable resources to their communities.

This program gives 12 hours of free classes to individuals interested in trees and their care in return for a devotion of 24 hours of volunteer service on tree related community projects. The one and a half hour classes include 6 instructional courses and 2 field trips. Participants are educated in several areas including environmental awareness, tree identification, proper planting techniques and after-planting care and pruning, and though they are free, classes are taught by experts and professionals in the field.

United Anglers of Casa Grande High School, Petaluna, CA

The story of the United Anglers is an amazing one, full of setbacks and perseverance and, ultimately, success. This project, run 100% by the students, has set the model for all other youth conservation programs and shows us that, with determination, anyone can make a difference. The Adobe Creek Restoration project has been an excellent hands-on education for high school and now elementary students at Casa Grande High School.

The project began in 1983 when high school biology professor Tom Furrer wanted his students to have a better understanding of the endangered species chapter. When presented with the sight of Adobe Creek with its dwindling population of Steelhead and Chinook salmon, the students took to cleaning the creek that had mostly dried out. They planted trees to reinforce the creek walls, hauled out sofas and other debris that had been dumped in the old creek bed, and fought to stop diverting water from the creek. Meanwhile, the students also fundraised in order to build a state-of-the-art fish hatchery, receiving donations from local businesses and individuals believing in their cause. The project began in 1983, and the students are still making big strides in the rescue of the salmon.

This year’s winners are: