Columbus, Ohio - America in Bloom announces that the Arbor Day Foundation is the 2016 recipient of the America in Bloom Spirit Award. The award recognizes organizations whose missions and activities are consistent and complementary to the goals of America in Bloom (AIB). AIB promotes nationwide beautification through education and community involvement by encouraging the use of flowers, plants, trees, and other environmental and lifestyle enhancements.
Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than 1 million members, supporters, and valued partners. During the last 44 years, more than 250 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world.
The Arbor Day Foundation’s positive impact on our environment and on people’s lives continues to grow.
"We are honored and humbled to be receiving the Spirit Award from America in Bloom. For 40 years, Tree City USA has been about developing healthier, greener, more livable communities," says Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation. "The Arbor Day Foundation has a common purpose with America in Bloom and we celebrate the impact that we have collectively made in cities and towns across the nation."
"Everyone benefits when elected officials, volunteers, and committed citizens in communities invest in urban forests," says Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. "Trees bring shade to our homes and beauty to our neighborhoods, along with numerous economic, social and environmental benefits."
Michelle Saulnier-Scribner, Arbor Day Foundation Program Director, was on hand at the America in Bloom annual symposium and awards in Arroyo Grande, CA to receive the award. She said, “Over the past year, we planted more than 5 million trees in forests around the world and delivered more than 4.6 million trees into the hands of members, homeowners, and people recovering from natural disasters across America. Those trees are the equivalent of planting all the trees in New York’s Central Park every single day. Through the framework of our recognition programs, more than $1.5 billion was invested in urban forestry management this year with an estimated return of up to $6 billion in environmental benefits to towns and cities and college campuses serving more than 143 million people. And we expanded our international reach to 18 countries: replanting forests, saving threatened rain forests, restoring critical wildlife habitat, and helping to lift thousands of farming families out of poverty.”
America in Bloom president Katy Moss Warner says, “As AIB celebrates its 15th anniversary, it is fitting to acknowledge an organization that is a leader in promoting the use of trees in landscapes, tree planting for conservation and ecological restoration all across our nation. All of us should be grateful for their efforts and I hope you’ll join me in thanking them for their great work."