2021 Arbor Day Award Winners
Congratulations to this year’s Arbor Day Award winners. Thank you for your dedication to trees and your passion for a greener tomorrow.
The 2021 Winners Are
Lifetime Stewardship Award
Shannon Ramsay’s passion for the environment has always been a driving factor for her lifelong commitment to trees. In 1989, she led the effort to form Trees Forever — a nonprofit organization focused on ensuring a greener, healthier, and more vibrant Iowa for future generations.
Throughout the years, Shannon demonstrated not only her passion for trees but her natural abilities to lead and mentor. Her work has led to the planting of more than 3.2 million trees and the engagement of more than 250,000 volunteers — a wonderful legacy of her life’s work.
In only a short time, Sarah Anderson has established herself within the world of urban forestry. Her latest work includes development of the Tree Equity: Career Pathways initiative. The goal is to connect people from socioeconomically disadvantaged communities to formal pre-employment apprenticeship and certification programs.
As this initiative gains traction and spreads across the country, Sarah continues to serve as a visionary leader, lighting the path to a more inclusive future for urban forestry.
Champion of Trees Award
Natural Areas Conservancy
The Natural Areas Conservancy is focused on protecting and restoring forests and wetlands in New York City parks. Recently, the organization partnered with the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation to develop the Forest Management Framework for New York City. This comprehensive plan serves as a 25-year roadmap for the care of the city’s 7,000+ acres of native forests.
In addition, the Natural Areas Conservancy conducted a survey to find out how America’s largest cities are restoring and conserving their forestlands. And they are sharing best practices and innovation with the industry.
Spirit of Arbor Day Award
Founded in 2016, Community Greening is transforming the urban landscape in south Florida — and spreading joy while they’re at it. With a strong focus on community engagement, the organization is committed to planting trees in underserved areas with low tree canopy.
But their approach is anything but typical. Family-friendly events include a whole new level of fun, with a live DJ and local catering. And a Youth Tree Team ensure opportunities for teens to get involved. It’s the type of engagement that can change the future of urban forestry.
The Nature Conservancy
Through its Mississippi River Basin Project, The Nature Conservancy is focused on trees as a solution to water quality issues. Changing land use and nutrient runoff in the Mississippi River Basin has left an alarmingly large dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, a problem that affects marine life, recreation, the seafood industry, and beyond.
With help of strategic partners, The Nature Conservancy is working to restore tens of thousands of acres and planting millions of trees over the next five to 20 years. These efforts are building a resilient Mississippi River Basin where people and nature can thrive.
Friend of the Forest Award
With such a reliance on trees for raw materials, sustainable forestry is naturally at the forefront of International Paper’s business model. That’s why all the wood fiber they use comes from responsibly managed forests, often certified by credible third-party sources. But their commitment doesn’t end there.
International Paper also supports forest conservation efforts beyond their operational footprint. Across the globe, the company is helping to restore forests and mitigate the impacts of climate change — planting a more sustainable future for everyone.