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Arbor Day Foundation Announces Award Winners
Indiana Ag Connection - 04/17/2018

The Arbor Day Foundation has announced that six individuals and organizations are the recipients of a 2018 Arbor Day Award in honor of 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. More information can be found at CelebrateArborDay.com

The 2018 Arbor Day Award winners are:

The Spirit of Arbor Day Award which recognizes an organization or community that fulfills the Foundation's mission through programs and activities that have been implemented within the past five years.

- 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.

The J. Sterling Morton Award which recognizes an individual who has had a positive impact on the environment due to his or her lifelong commitment to tree planting and conservation. The individual will have demonstrated a commitment to advancing tree planting and care through a record of education, work experience, talent and temperament.

- David Forsell, Indianapolis, Ind.: 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.

The Trailblazer Award which recognizes an individual under the age of 35 who has demonstrated leadership in forestry, community forestry, research or tree care during the past five years.

- Erica Smith Fichman, Philadelphia, Pa.: In 2012, 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.

The Headwaters Award which celebrates innovative programs -- in rural or urban areas -- that support the improvement of water quality and quantity through forestry activities.

- Cacapon Institute, Great Cacapon, W.V.: 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.

The Champion of Trees Award which recognizes a government entity, community-based organization or partnership among such groups that has demonstrated exemplary leadership to develop and implement new policies and practices for municipal tree planting and care, natural area stewardship or arboriculture.

- City of San Francisco and Friends of the Urban Forest, Calif.: 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.

The Friend of the Forest Award which recognizes a corporation and its leaders for their commitment to using trees and forests to achieve corporate sustainability goals and targets.

- Procter & Gamble Family Care, Cincinnati, Ohio: 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.

Since 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has recognized the inspiring and life-changing work of leading environmental stewards and tree planters through the annual Arbor Day Awards. Award winners from previous years include the late Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, the United States Forest Service and Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

The Arbor Day Foundation is a million-member nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information is available at arborday.org.

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