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FGRP to Receive National Arbor Day Foundation Award

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks is the recipient of a 2013 Arbor Day Award in honor of its outstanding contribution to tree planting, conservation and stewardship, the Arbor Day Foundation announced today. Friends of Grand Rapids Parks will receive the Excellence in Urban Forest Leadership Award which is given to one exceptional organization whose work provides innovative leadership in advancing sustainable community forestry efforts at a local, state, or national level.

Volunteers help plant trees at Highland Park

In early 2012, Friends of Grand Rapids launched the “Urban Forest Project”, a partnership with the City of Grand Rapids and local funding partner – the Grand Rapids Community Foundation. The project has grown to include a crowd-sourced tree map with over 18,000 trees located, ongoing training of 46 citizen foresters, hiring of an Urban Forest Project Coordinator, and development of new partnerships that grow our urban forest toward a 40% canopy goal. Hundreds of Grand Rapids residents have already contributed to – and reaped the benefits – of this innovative project.

“We share this honor with our community and partners helping grow a healthier urban forest” said Steve Faber, Executive Director of Friends of Grand Rapids Parks.

“Grand Rapids is receiving increased attention for its leadership in Urban Forestry at both a State and National level, and this award is recognition of the promising strides Grand Rapids is making.” added Lee Mueller, Program Coordinator also with Friends of Grand Rapids Parks.

“The creativity and hard work of this year’s Arbor Day Award winners enrich our public commons and inspire future generations of environmental advocates,” said John Rosenow, founder and chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Friends of Grand Rapids Parks ought to be proud to be a part of this accomplished group.”

This year’s ceremony will be held at Lied Lodge & Conference Center, located at Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City, Nebraska, on Saturday, April 27.

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, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Mary Kay, Inc.

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks
An independent, citizen driven nonprofit with the mission to protect, enhance and expand parks and public spaces by mobilizing volunteers, generating resources, and raising awareness about the value of our public spaces. 

About the Arbor Day Foundation
The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization of one million members, with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at arborday.org, or by visiting us on Facebook at facebook.com/arborday or Twitter at twitter.com/arborday.

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