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2019 Arbor Day Award Winners

The 2019 Arbor Day Awards honors six individuals and organizations for their outstanding contribution to tree planting, conservation, and stewardship.

The 2019 Winners Are

The Lifetime Stewardship Award

Dr. Edward E. Louis, Jr.

Using his expertise as a veterinarian and geneticist at the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium in Omaha, Nebraska, Ed Louis has embraced the island of Madagascar’s biodiversity and the challenge to conserve it. The programs he developed have helped plant more than 2 million trees, discovered more than two dozen animal species, supported 68 graduate students, employed 166 Malagasy people full-time and 207 part-time, and engaged more than 3,000 Malagasy citizens in planting trees and monitoring lemurs.

The Trailblazer Award

David Moore

The title of Senior Tree Supervisor at the City of Oakland, California, belies David Moore’s age and accomplishments. During his tenure at New York City Parks, David developed a sophisticated system of tree procurement that is a model for urban foresters across the country, and he served as co-chair of the MillionTreesNYC committee. He also served as president of the New York State Urban Forestry Council from 2015-17, where he was highly regarded for his organizational and leadership skills.

The Headwaters Award

Team Willamette

This collaborative team of non-profits, state, and regional agencies share messaging and resources as members of the Willamette River Initiative. Over the past seven years, Team Willamette has planted more than 3.9 million trees and shrubs for water quality and habitat improvement in the Willamette Basin, located near Portland, Oregon.

The Champion of Trees Award

City of Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte’s Tree Canopy Preservation Program (TCPP) preserves natural areas in the city through voluntary purchases or easements, paid for by fees collected from developers. Since 2014, the city has protected 272 acres, an area three times larger than what would have been protected through traditional tree preservation codes, and acquisitions are targeted rather than left to developer choice.

The Friend of the Forest Award


Employee engagement is central to Verizon’s sustainability efforts in the U.S. and in 37 countries around the world. Their “Green Teams” include almost 30,000 employees, who serve as ‘green ambassadors’ in their home communities. Planting trees is a core activity for these employees, and since 2009, Green Team employees have planted more than 685,000 trees, on target to exceed the company goal of planting 2 million trees by 2030.

The Spirit of Arbor Day Award

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks

The Urban Forest Project works toward reaching a goal of 40% tree canopy in Grand Rapids, Michigan through a variety of training programs and educational events, including Kids to Parks Day, BBQ & Beautify, Fall Family Park Fest and Winter West.