#CanopyAwards: the Foodie Edition

After this year, we’re hoping you don’t just think of trees and the forever-preceding Earth Day when someone mentions Arbor Day – because, if you’re anything like us, you’ll likely be thinking about the roller coaster ride we took your taste buds on. 

A star-studded culinary experience is lined up for the lucky 350+ people who helped us sell out the inaugural Casey Trees Canopy Awards, and we’re rewarding each and every one of them with a collection of tastes that you just won’t find anywhere else.

Headlining your concert of cuisine is Shake Shack, the NYC-original that’s spread like wildfire down the coast and continues to rival D.C.’s famed burger joints for the District’s #1 burger spot. They’ve got a unique take on a old-fashioned classic – the hot dog – and though it was originally released as a limited menu item, they’re bringing it back… JUST FOR US.

For this concoction, they combined with Gordy’s Pickle Jar, “a DC-based artisanal pickle purveyor that creates hand-crafted, small-batch pickles using fresh, local produce and responsibly cultivated spices.” Entitled the “Super Fry Frickle” Dog, it’s an all-natural, split and griddled flat-top hot dog with cheddar and American cheese sauce, crispy-fried Thai Basil Jalapeño pickles and shallots marinated in their own Brooklyn Brewery collaboration brew, the ShackMeister Ale.


We’ll also be passing around a variety of other bites from haute catering, a D.C. event specialist with a green emphasis, including mac’n'cheese bites, petite Chesapeake crab cakes and fried chicken & waffle bites with a maple glaze (you read that right). Vegan or gluten free? No worries – how about a cucumber cup with black bean & corn relish, or a roasted root vegetable skewers with a honey dijon glaze? We thought that sounded good, too.

To top all of that off, we’ve recruited Buffalo & Bergen to help you wash down these delishous (that’s not a misspelling) eats with their specialty, homemade Italian sodas and egg creams. The Union Market staple is bringing eight of their tree-inspired flavors (Orange Sassafras, Pineapple Cardamom, Grapefruit Rosemary, the list goes on…) upstairs to the DOCK5 event space for us, and seriously, if you don’t try one, you’re not invited back next year.

(Just kidding.)

(Kind of.)

Beer? Pabst & Great Lakes Brewery are helping us out. Wine? Ingleside Vineyards & First Vine have got it curated.

We weren’t kidding, you guys. We like food, and we take it very seriously.

Unique Shepard Park planting attempts to uproot concrete & create change

A little alley-way triangle park in the Shepherd Park neighborhood is finally starting to get some much-needed attention, after years of passing neglect.

The neighborhood, named after its most famous resident – the last Governor of the District and tree champion, Boss Shepherd – was designed many years ago to support a mature tree canopy, and the space shows that possibility now, but not without a little help. The garage that once stood on the site has long since burned down, and now the community is dedicated to reclaiming this patch of underused land and turning it into a beautiful park.

So, naturally we decided to help project organizers Tony Dixon and Patrice Jennings-Dixon plant nine trees, including a balsom fir, juniper and ironwood, among a variety of others to jumpstart the park’s transformation. When asked about his attachment to the site, Tony responded, “I’m attached mostly by how I am affected by its ugliness. For the three years I have been in this house, I awake to an unobstructed view of weeds gone wild, but recognized it had great potential and could benefit us all if it were cared for.

But local residents aren’t the only ones hoping to forge closer bonds to the area and see it succeed – mayoral-hopeful Muriel Bowser came out and joined in the planting, and a long-time partner of ours, Tower Companies, donated eight of the trees in honor of each of their eight locations. They’ve been a friend to our mission for several years, and are green visionaries for D.C.

The complications for the site are numerous though, and it’s already had an impact on even what trees can provide. Tony explained, “Our biggest challenge is that a 1,000 square foot concrete garage pad and foundation remain on the property. Its presence has influenced our current design, the number of trees we could plant, and limited what we are able to initially do with the site. ” But that’s not to say there isn’t hope, and alternatives, especially when committed volunteers are there guiding the way.

[When it's] trees vs. weeds? Weeds come in a distant 2nd place,” Tony said. “I think the trees are the easiest way to transform a blighted eyesore.”

We agree, Tony!

Treelines: Week of April 14, 2014

Because urban forestry issues span a wide range of topics and are constantly a source of local, national, and international news, we think it’s important to provide you with the most up-to-date information on everything tree-related: from local and national headlines to the latest in research and technologies, to simply feel-good stories.

Look for our reoccurring Treelines every week right here on Tree Speak + updates on our social channels, Facebook and Twitter.

This week in the Treelines…

  • Amazon trees vulnerable to fire and climate combination
    by Mark Kinver, BBC News

    “The combination of fire and extreme weather could accelerate tree mortality in the Amazon, a recent study has suggested. Researchers said field experiments showed that severe droughts could trigger dieback of forests in the near-term.”

  • Cherry Blossom Grown from Space Seeds a Bit Weird
    via Discovery News

    “A cosmic mystery is uniting monks and scientists in Japan after a cherry tree grown from a seed that orbited the Earth for eight months bloomed years earlier than expected — and with very surprising flowers.”

  • The Overprotected Kid
    by Hanna Rosin, The Atlantic

    “A preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery—without making it safer. A new kind of playground points to a better solution.”

  • 10 Terrifying Stormwater Pollution Statistics
    by Rob Freeman Jr, Green-Buildings.com

    “It seems that when it comes to green building activities, environmental landscaping is slowly and surely gaining traction as a notable talking point… And for good reason. With all the unpredictable weather we’ve been having, it’s never too soon to start thinking, or learning, about stormwater management.”

  • 6 Freeway Removals That Changed Their Cities Forever
    by Alissa Walker, Gizmodo

    “It seems counterintuitive, right? Rip out eight lanes of freeway through the middle of your metropolis and you’ll be rewarded with not only less traffic, but safer, more efficient cities? But it’s true, and it’s happening in places all over the world.”

Don’t forget to check back next week for more Treelines! Any thoughts on these articles? Post your comments or questions below or via our social media channels - Facebook.. Twitter.. thanks!

Advocates: How to Run for ANC Commissioner

ANC Commissioner Washington DC government ward election rules regulations deadline application forms

Guest post by Bob Summersgill, Casey Trees Lead Citizen Forester & ANC 3F07 || Twitter: @summersgill

Want to make a difference in your neighborhood?  Run for ANC Commissioner and have the opportunity to have a say on recommendations that get made on a number of elements that affect your community: provide advice and local knowledge on liquor licenses, development projects, historic reviews, zoning variances, and public space applications including sidewalk cafes and curb cuts. Commissioners can also have a significant influence in restoring, enhancing and protecting the tree canopy, as trees can be included in almost every development, school plan, playground, planned driveway and sidewalk, even parking lots.

An Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner is an elected, unpaid, neighborhood activist.  There are 296 commissioners organized into 40 ANCs. Each commissioner represents approximately 2000 people in an area called a Single Member District (SMD). Each Commissioner is elected for a two-year term in a non-partisan election.


Most ANC Commissioners are elected without opposition. You only need to get on the ballot. You may want to ask the current commissioner if they plan to run again. Don’t be shy about saying you are interested.

To find out what SMD you are in, and who the current commissioner is, go to anc.dc.gov. It has information about your SMD and ANC. Contact information for every commissioner, maps, and links to the ANC websites and the Board of Elections can be found here.


The first day you may register as a candidate, fill out some forms, and get your nominating petitions. The Board of Elections makes this fairly easy. They won’t let you miss a step. There are no hard questions.

You will be given a packet of information. Included in the package are a map of your SMD and a list of all of the registered voters. You will need to get the signatures of 25 register voters of any party that live in your SMD. You count as one. Verify that each signature belongs to a registered voter.


You must return your nominating petitions to the Board of Elections by Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at 5:00 pm. There is no advantage to waiting until the last minute. Turn them in as soon as you get all 25 and be done with it. If another person is running, you may need to campaign. You may raise funds to pay for expenses. The fundraising limit is $25.00 !!

GENERAL ELECTION DAY – November 4, 2014

All of your constituents will vote at the same place. Consider standing outside the elections to help your neighborhoods put a face to your name – shake their hand and ask them to vote for you – it won’t hurt!


If you win the election, you will be sworn in on January 2, 2015. The Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions will provide orientation and training. These are very useful, and should be attended if at all possible.

Timeline of Events

  • 07.07.14 – You may register as a candidate.
  • 08.06.14 – You must return your nominating petitions to the Board of Elections (by 5 p.m.)
  • 11.04.14 - General Election Day
  • 01.02.15 – If you win your election, you will be sworn in!

Canopy Award’s Live Band Preview: Unique talents make for a special sound

As part of the entertainment for April 24th’s #CanopyAwards, we’ll be joined by two incredible live bands.

One – the Bumper Jacksons - are a D.C.- and Baltimore-based group with a sound so unique, they consider it “trad jazz, ragtime, and pre-war country.” Their unique blend of music is reflective of their unconventional cast – lead singers Jess Eliot Myhre and Chris Ousley play a combination of clarinet, washboard, ukulele, banjo and guitar, while you’ll find bandmates Alex Lacquement on the upright bass, Dan Cohan on the suitcase percussion, Brian Priebe on the trombone and Dave Hadley on something called the “pedal steel” (we don’t know what that is; we just know we love their music).

The second half of the night’s musical talent will be provided by Andrew Lipke and the Azrael Quartet. “As a highly active artist, producer, songwriter, entertainer, and over-all member of the Philadelphia music scene,” Lipke has received considerable praise not only for his own music, but for his chops as a producer as well. With the #CanopyAwards only a few days away, we decided to ask him a few questions -

CT: Any green interests?

Well I hate to say it but I have whatever the opposite of a green thumb is…my father is an amazing gardener and can make any plant grow pretty much anywhere. I, unfortunately, did not get this gene. However I am very much into recycling and also conserving water.

CT: How old were you when you started playing music? 

I started playing the piano when I was 5 and guitar when I was 12. I recently got the opportunity to perform an arrangement I wrote of one of my songs – Up To Here – for full orchestra. That was a dream of mine for a long time, so to get to hear my music played in that way was a thrill…and it’s going to happen again!

CT: Any stories, memories or songs that relate to trees at all? Connect us to you through trees, if possible.

I was born in South Africa and when I was about 8 years old – with the help of my father – I did the thing where you place the avocado pit above a little container of water to pull the roots out. The pit grew very well and so we decided to plant it out in the yard. 7 years later we returned and the tree had grown into a very healthy avocado tree and as I understand it, now – 28 years later! – the avocados are giant and delicious! 

CT: Excited about performing for our #CanopyAwards?

Yes! Love performing with The Azrael String Quartet and to do so in a classy venue, for a great cause, is icing on the cake!

CT: What can our audience expect from you April 24th?

We do a mixture of my original music and some cover songs that I’ve arranged for myself and the string quartet. The players in my quartet are world class classical musicians and performing with them is always inspirational for me.  And we always have fun!!

A sneak peek at the event space – Union Market’s DOCK5 – and Andrew’s song “Up to Here” is featured in our video at the top, and we’ve shared a few more songs to check out from the Bumper Jacksons and Andrew below:

Plant a tree and our Tree Rebates will help you save money

plant trees washington dc maryland virginia cash back save money discount

Warming weather means its time to spruce up your yard, and naturally, we recommend adding trees to it! And to make purchasing trees a more affordable option for you, we offer Tree Rebates up to $100 per tree for those planted on private residential or commercial property in the District.

Participation is simple: purchase a tree from a vendor of your choosing, plant it in D.C., then download our form and submit the rebate with a purchase receipt for each tree. There is no limit to the number of rebates per property.

Many large canopy trees, thanks to their immense environmental benefits, qualify for rebates of up to $100 per tree. Most small and medium canopy trees also qualify, for rebates up to $50 per tree. Invasives, dwarf and ash trees however do not qualify for a rebate of any amount. Refer to our species list for more help.

But where can you buy a tree? Here’s our list of D.C. metro area nurseries and garden centers capable of helping customers select rebate-eligible trees – but remember, we’ll accept Tree Rebates for trees purchased at any nursery or garden center, listed below or not, as long as they meet the eligibility requirements.

Most popular, inside the District:

Most popular, outside the District:

Other nurseries in the region:

Need helping planting that tree once you’ve got it? We’ve got all the instructions you’ll need that might’ve fallen out of the box, kind of like the directions to last year’s holiday present (it’s still sitting in the closet, isn’t it?). We’ve even got videos – lets just say we really want this to be fool proof.

The Tree Rebate Program is funded by the District Department of the Environment.

Treelines: Week of April 7, 2014

Because urban forestry issues span a wide range of topics and are constantly a source of local, national, and international news, we think it’s important to provide you with the most up-to-date information on everything tree-related: from local and national headlines to the latest in research and technologies, to simply feel-good stories.

Look for our reoccurring Treelines every week right here on Tree Speak + updates on our social channels, Facebook and Twitter.

This week in the Treelines…

  • Scientists find new way to make high-tech energy storage devices from trees
    via DNA

    “Researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) found that cellulose – the most abundant organic polymer on earth and a key component of trees – can be heated in a furnace in the presence of ammonia and turned into the building blocks for supercapacitors.”

  • Duke Energy suspends program using pesticide to stunt trees’ growth
    by Stephanie Coueignoux, WSOCTV

    “A Duke Energy spokeswoman said they wanted to keep trees there from growing into power lines. Tree trimming is very expensive, and those costs go straight to customers. Many are concerned about the long-term effects, include those on human health.”

  • The sadness behind the Central African Republic’s mango trees
    by Tim Whewell, BBC News

    “The Central African Republic has been torn apart by inter-ethnic violence in the last 12 months. The conflict has left its mark on the landscape in many ways. You can always tell where there used to be a village by the sudden profusion of mango trees in the middle of nowhere.”

  • Young NM scientist experiments with Pecan orchards and carbon dioxide removal
    by John Fleck, ABQ Journal

    “Albert Zuo and Eli Echt-Wilson, a pair of La Cueva High School juniors, were curious about the optimal way to grow trees to “sequester” carbon, one approach to reducing the impact of fossil fuels on Earth’s climate. With some inspiration from La Cueva biology teacher Jason DeWitte, the pair built a computer simulation of an orchard of growing trees.”

  • Reflecting on the loss of the Eisenhower Tree
    by Jason Sobel, Golf Channel

    “This is a story about a tree. But really, it’s about so much more than that. This is a story about a tree that was born lucky.”

Don’t forget to check back next week for more Treelines! Any thoughts on these articles? Post your comments or questions below or via our social media channels - Facebook.. Twitter.. thanks!

Free Uber ride for #CanopyAwards helps you arrive in style

Why not arrive in style to what is set to be the biggest and brightest celebration of D.C.’s trees?

We’re partnering with UBER to make sure your trip to the Canopy Awards — at DOCK5 @ Union Market on April 24 — is just as stylish and fun as the event itself. And we’ve made it incredibly easy for you.

When you’re ready to leave on the 24th:

  • Download the UBER app on your phone and create an account (for iPhone here, and Android here).
  • Tap the profile icon in the top left – then tap “Promotions”
  • Enter in the promo code: CASEYTREES
  • Order your personal Uber (vehicle options: UberX; Black car; SUV)
  • Get up to $25.00 off your first ride

NOTE: DC users only. New users only. Not valid on uberTAXI.

Not familiar with Union Market? Here’s how else you can get there: