The Arbor Day Foundation Honors Friends of Grand Rapids Parks

Spirit of Arbor Day Award Recognizes Organization for Inspiring Citizens Through its Urban Forest Project
LINCOLN, Neb., May 13, 2019  — The Arbor Day Foundation has announced today that Friends of Grand Rapids Parks has been awarded the Foundation’s 2019 Spirit of Arbor Day Award. This award recognizes an organization or community that fulfills the Foundation’s mission of inspiring people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees through programs and activities that have been implemented within the past five years. The award will be presented at a reception in honor of Friends of Grand Rapids Parks on May 20 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Embassy Suites Grand Rapids Downtown.

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks is being honored for their progressive Urban Forest Project, which is leading the community of Grand Rapids, Michigan, toward a goal of 40% tree canopy through a variety of training programs and educational events, including Kids to Parks Day, BBQ & Beautify, Fall Family Park Fest and WinterWest.

“Friends of Grand Rapids Parks’ dedication to its community forest and commitment to empowering residents to take action is inspiring a new wave of tree stewards,” said Dan Lambe, president, Arbor Day Foundation. “The community engagement their programs attract illustrates that residents value trees and want a stake in beautifying their communities. The momentum of their work will live on for years to come.”

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks formed in 2008 after the City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation department experienced budget cuts that would affect its parks and green spaces. It is their mission to empower people to cultivate vibrant parks, trees and green spaces in the Grand Rapids community. Its volunteer programs connect thousands of residents to opportunities to plant a tree each year.

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 Procter & Gamble.

This award winner is one of six being honored for their outstanding contribution to tree planting, conservation and stewardship. The remainder of the 2019 Arbor Day Award winners will be presented with their award throughout the month of May. More information can be found at arborday.org/awards.

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