Blog Post By Jona Elwell

#ICYMI: Meet the Fourth Annual Canopy Awards Honorees!

The Canopy Awards is not just a great party — it’s also our unique way of honoring the people and partners working to promote and protect D.C.’s tree canopy.

We’re pleased to announce the 2017 Canopy Awards honorees:

Award for Partnership: Douglas Solomon and Shake Shack of Union Station

If you attended a community tree planting in the past year, chances are you’ve seen Douglas Solomon. He’s the one passing out delicious Shake Shack breakfast sandwiches to tree planters with a bright smile on his face – no matter how early in the morning or cold outside it is. His enthusiasm shines whether he and his team are planting trees or whether they are handing out treats at the Canopy Awards.

Each Shake Shack location has a partner in the community to which they graciously dedicate their time to outside of their shifts. We are lucky to have been chosen by the Union Station Shack team three years ago when they first opened. Over the years Douglas and his staff have partnered with us on countless events, supporting Casey Trees’ other volunteers with the great food and fun hospitality that Shake Shack is known for.

“The most rewarding part for me has been engaging more with the people and places of D.C.,” Douglas says. “I am able to connect the dots with new people I meet when they see our sign about Casey Trees or when they see me in a Casey Trees shirt.  When passing a place with friends where I have been a part of the planting, I can tell the story of Casey Trees and how fun it is.”

Award for Education: Amy Jagodnik

As Garden Coordinator at Horace Mann Elementary School, Amy Jagodnik has been bringing the importance of tree and garden care to students for the past five years.

After being first inspired by participating in the school’s first tree planting in 2010, Amy has helped execute two tree plantings at the school.  As an involved Citizen Scientist, she works alongside the school’s science program guiding students to embrace tree identification, health, and tracking.

Whether organizing volunteers to maintain campus grounds and outdoor classrooms, educating children about the importance and technique of caring for a plant or garden, planning improvements to our landscapes, or designing curriculum around the environment, Amy is doing all that she can to facilitate care for our part of the planet.

“I believe that teaching children about the wonder of nature is paramount to their future sense of stewardship for the earth. It will be their responsibility going forward.  I want children to know that we need trees for life support and that they deserve our respect and care.”

 

Award for Volunteer Service: Greg and Kerrin Nishimura

From summer intern to Lead Citizen Forester, Kerrin has been volunteering with Casey Trees for the past 12 years and has planted an estimated 425 trees. As a Team Leader, Kerrin has led countless other volunteers in tree plantings, and helped to train even more Citizen Foresters.

Greg has participated in over 80 Casey Trees events and has been Lead Citizen Forester at two plantings since he first became involved 13 years ago.

The personal connections Kerrin has grown within the Casey Tree’s community is what makes the volunteering experience all the more wholesome. Kerrin and Greg met while both taking part in a Dutch Elm Disease inventory as interns, and now work together to make their city the greenest it can be for their family.

“The most rewarding part about the hours and years I’ve dedicated to Casey Trees is knowing that in 20 years I can bring my daughter back to all those places that her father and I have planted trees and she’ll be able to see the good work that we’ve done. She’ll be able to put her hands on a living symbol of our love for the environment and for the city itself,” Kerrin says.

Award for Leadership: Earl Eutsler and UFA

The mission of the Urban Forestry Administration is to manage and increase the District’s street trees and to maintain healthy trees across the city.

This team of nearly 30 work together to maintain D.C. trees which provide improved air quality, temperature moderation, increased ground water retention and many more benefits.

The Administration works to provide proper and expeditious services such as pruning, small tree removals and clean-up of tree debris and stumps in order to provide safe sidewalk and street clearance to the residents of the District, and also provides educational information to District residents about the benefits of growing trees and encourage planting appropriate tree species in our urban environment.

Learn more about what makes each of these honorees so spectacular at Canopy Awards this Arbor Day Eve — Thursday, April 27 —and congratulate them in person! Get your ticket today:

Want to make a greater commitment to re-treeing D.C.? Become a Canopy Awards sponsor! There are multiple levels of support to choose from, so find the one that works best for you.

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