2019 - Roots to Rivers

We are all interconnected: a healthy, robust tree canopy to thriving waterways.

Roots to Rivers

We all play a part
Between a giant wall, reusable straws, a bustling silent auction, and celebrating D.C.’s canopy, the Canopy Awards was packed to the brim with good fun and great people.


Award for Education: Heidi Burns

A long time tree planting team leader with Casey Trees and a fiercely dedicated staff member at Kendall Demonstration Elementary School, Heidi saw a unique opportunity to combine her two passions. Heidi managed to not only weave a school planting into our larger canopy restoration efforts at Gallaudet University, but she also engaged and involved students, ensuring the next generation of stewards for Kendall, Gallaudet, and D.C. as a whole. For her unwavering commitment to developing opportunities for environmental education, we are honored to present Heidi Burns with the 2019 Canopy Award for Education.

Award for Leadership: Councilmember Vincent C. Gray

As D.C. charges towards its 40% canopy goal, it is important to acknowledge where it started: Councilmember, then Mayor, Gray’s office, spearheaded the first Sustainable D.C. Plan. Since creating a roadmap for D.C. to become the healthiest, greenest, and most livable city, Councilmember Gray has continued to champion greenspace throughout our entire city – most recently through co-sponsoring D.C.’s Clean Energy Bill. For his steadfast efforts to raise awareness on the importance of trees through policymaking, we are honored to present Councilmember Gray with the 2019 Canopy Award for Leadership.

Award for Sustainability: The Nature Conservancy

Polluted stormwater runoff is one of the largest growing environmental concern in urban areas. Paved roads are one of the largest contributors of this runoff and Mount Olivet Cemetery, built in 1858 in Northeast D.C., had a staggering 10 acres of them. Working with the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, the Nature Conservancy designed and implemented numerous green infrastructure elements throughout the cemetery, such as rain gardens, trees, bio-retention areas. These efforts have lowered Mount Olivet Cemetery’s water bill by $25,000, kept hundreds of thousands of gallons of water out of our rivers and waterways, and contributed greenspace and reduced flooding to nearby neighbors. For their groundbreaking project at historic Mount Olivet Cemetery, we are honored to present the Nature Conservancy with the 2019 Canopy Award for Sustainability.

Award for Partnership: Department of Housing and Community Development

As a city housing authority, what do you when you assume dozens of vacant properties that are physically impossible to build on? If you are D.C.’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) you make the bold, forward thinking choice of keeping that space green in perpetuity. We’re fortunate to work with them to preserve acres of greenspace and trees all over the city so Washington remains green for generations. By working with us to preserve tree filled greenspace for future Washingtonians, we are honored to present the Department of Housing and Community Development with the 2019 Canopy Award for Partnership.

Award for Volunteer Service: Delores Bushong

A real life Lorax, Casey Trees volunteer Delores Bushong has committed herself to speaking for the trees. While she is a tree planting team leader and Pruning Corps member, she truly shines as a frequent face at Council hearings, testimonials, and meetings. Since becoming a Certified Tree Advocate in 2012, Delores has used her voice to protect and promote tree focused legislation and developments. For her passionate work advocating for current and future urban trees, as well as her consistent support of Casey Trees programs and goals, we are honored to present her with the 2019 Canopy Award for Volunteer Service.