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Nationwide Celebrations and Tree Planting Opportunities Announced for Arbor Day, America's Oldest Environmental Holiday Lincoln, Nebraska
April 27, 2018 marks the 146th celebration of Arbor Day. A holiday established in 1872 in Nebraska City to inspire people to plant trees, it became a national holiday in 1972. To help people across the country get more easily involved in celebrating the country's first environmental holiday, the Arbor Day Foundation has launched celebratearborday.com. People can visit the website to see what's going on in their local communities as well as to get information on how to plant trees and plan their own Arbor Day celebrations.
"Arbor Day is that one day every year reminding us to think about all that trees do for us -- a day for reflection and for action," said Dan Lambe, president, Arbor Day Foundation. "On April 27, communities across the country will to come together to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. We encourage everyone to set differences aside, grab a shovel and make a positive impact in your community by planting a tree."
Not only can visitors learn about celebrations in their area, people across the United States can sign a pledge signifying their commitment to planting a tree during the month of April as well as purchase a tree to be planted in their yard or a national forest. Visitors to celebratearborday.com can watch the number of trees planted increase on the website's "Treemometer." This commitment to plant 1 million trees by 2025 with the Arbor Day Foundation is part of the One Earth program.
April also marks the Arbor Day Foundation's annual award program, honoring individuals and organizations for their outstanding contribution to tree planting, conservation and stewardship. The 2018 Arbor Day Award winners will be presented with their award during their local National Arbor Day celebrations. The 2018 Arbor Day Award winners are:
Spirit of Arbor Day Award: Plant-for-the-Planet, Munich, Germany This worldwide network of young tree planters began with a school presentation by a nine-year-old German boy (Felix Finkbeiner), and today Plant-for-the-Planet is a global movement with an ambitious goal: to fight the climate crisis by planting trees around the world.
J. Sterling Morton Award: David Forsell, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA Dave Forsell was the first tree planter at Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB) and is now president of the nonprofit, devoted to "helping people and nature thrive." He has forged KIB into a national leader of community development through greenspace-making and urban forestry.
Trailblazer Award: Erica Smith Fichman, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA In 2012, Erica Smith Fichman developed TreePhilly, an urban forestry outreach program with the goal of increasing tree canopy to 30 percent across every neighborhood in Philadelphia. Under Erica's leadership, TreePhilly strives to ensure that its programs are accessible to all residents of Philadelphia.
Headwaters Award: Cacapon Institute, Great Cacapon, West Virginia, USA For more than 30 years, Cacapon Institute has focused on protecting West Virginia's portion of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, while also supporting forestry-related education and projects along the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and into western Maryland. As a regional leader in forestry activities, the Cacapon Institute uses tree planting, education and stewardship as solutions for improving water quality.
Champion of Trees Award: City of San Francisco and Friends of the Urban Forest, California, USA The city and their nonprofit partner, Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF), used a community planning process to write a new urban forest management plan that identified street tree care as a major problem. Then FUF led the outreach plan to pass a ballot measure to allow the city to take back control of street trees. Measure E passed with 75 percent support and guarantees $19 million per year for street tree care in San Francisco.
Friend of the Forest Award: Procter & Gamble Family Care, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA Procter & Gamble Family Care is a major buyer of wood pulp used to make many of their familiar brands, with all of this material adhering to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certifications. In addition, they are working with the American Forest Foundation (AFF) in the Carolinas for reforestation, landowner outreach and improved forestry management to bolster sustainable forestry efforts across the Carolinas.
About the Arbor Day Foundation Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members, supporters, and valued partners. During the last 46 years, more than 250 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world. Our vision is to help others understand and use trees as a solution to many of the global issues we face today, including air quality, water quality, climate change, deforestation, poverty and hunger.
As one of the world's largest operating conservation foundations, the Arbor Day Foundation, through its members, partners and programs, educates and engages stakeholders and communities across the globe to involve themselves in its mission of planting, nurturing and celebrating trees. More information is available at arborday.org.