2008 National Arbor Day Awards
Good Steward Award
Berger, born in Germany, immigrated to the United States in 1952, dreaming of establishing his own tree farm and creating a legacy for the future. He served in the Air Force, retired in 1979 and purchased a small farm near Sugar Grove, PA. In 1995, his dream became a reality when he began planting trees on his land. Since then, he has planted more than 2,000 trees, and his farm is enrolled in the American Tree Farm System. Berger is often asked why he spends so much time in his retirement planting and caring for trees, and his response is always the same: “I plant for the future.”
Haralson’s tree farm is a showcase for good forestry practices. He manages the land for tree farming and wildlife habitat, setting aside more than 40 acres of food patches for wildlife. He routinely hosts tours and visitors, teaching others about the importance of trees and being a good steward of the land. He is recognized in South Carolina as a leader and advocate for forestry management and conservation, and was named the 2007 Southern Regional Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year by the American Tree Farm System.
The Ziolkowski Family
The Ziolkowski Family is best known for the continuing efforts to build the Crazy Horse Memorial to honor the culture, tradition and living heritage of Native Americans. But they also manage the Crazy Horse Memorial Forest, which is South Dakota’s oldest and largest certified woodland tree farm. For 46 years, they have been committed to wise forest and multiple-use management, which includes timber production, wildlife preservation, livestock grazing and recreation. The family welcomes more than one million visitors each year, and was named South Dakota’s Woodland Tree Farmers of the Year in 2007.
This year’s winners are:
- Dr. Peter Raven of St. Louis, MO
- Buck Abbey of Baton Rouge, LA
- Jeunesse Park of Johannesburg, South Africa
- Debbie Mendelson of Woodside, CA
- Green Streets for Omaha, NE
- Long Island Nature Collaborative for Kids of Long Island, NY
- Kurt Berger of Sugar Grove, PA
- Johney Haralson of Denmark, SC
- The Ziolkowski Family of Crazy Horse, SD
- The City of Buffalo and Re-Tree Western New York of Buffalo, NY
- Johnson City Housing Authority of Johnson City, TN
- Rain to Recreation of Lenexa, KS
- The USDA Forest Service Living Memorials Project of Newtown Square, PA
- The Forest Where Ashley Lives by Mark and Ashley Vitosh of Ames, IA
- If I Were a Tree by Dar Hosta of Flemington, NJ
- Eastside Elementary School of Clewiston, FL
- Doubletree Hotels
- Home Depot Foundation
Award winners are recognized for their leadership in the cause of tree planting, conservation,and environmental stewardship.
Leaders in tree planting, conservation, and environmental stewardship from around the country and world are honored each year at our annual Arbor Day Awards celebration held in Nebraska City, Nebraska. The awards ceremony is part of the annual Arbor Day weekend celebration held at Lied Lodge & Conference Center.