For Release: Thursday, April 28, 2011
Arbor Day Celebrated in New York State
New Yorkers Encouraged to Recognize Numerous Contributions Provided by Trees
The New York State Arbor Day Committee, made up of several state agencies and industry associations, was joined by state and local officials to celebrate Arbor Day in Albany's West Capitol Park. This annual celebration encourages New Yorkers of all ages to recognize the importance of trees and the impact they make in our everyday lives.
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens said, "Arbor Day is a national observance that celebrates the essential role trees play in our environment. By participating in the annual Arbor Day poster contest, students learn about trees and how they promote a healthy, balanced ecosystem. I encourage everyone to take a moment today and to consider how each of us can help preserve our precious natural resources."
New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Darrel Aubertine said, "Arbor Day was first recognized in 1872 in Nebraska as a way to encourage farmers and homesteaders to plant trees on what was then, primarily treeless plains. Today, we celebrate in New York where we are blessed with a bounty of forested land, and recognize all the contributions that trees make to our communities - both rural and urban alike."
This year's celebration included a ceremonial planting of a Greenspire Linden in West Capitol Park to replace a fallen tree. West Capitol Park, located in the center of Downtown Albany, served as the perfect backdrop for this celebration as it is filled with Greenspire Linden trees and serves as a popular lunchtime destination for State employees and visitors to Albany. The tree was donated by Northern Nurseries in Schenectady to the New York State Arbor Day Committee.
The Arbor Day celebration also recognized Arianna Vandezande, a fifth grader from Stewart Manor School in Nassau County, who won the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's 2011 Arbor Day Poster Contest depicting the theme, "Pick the Challenge - Be a Tree Hero." Her winning artwork has been reproduced in posters and bookmarks to be distributed through the state.
The New York Nursery and Landscape Association presented its Environmental Beautification Awards, which highlight excellence and quality in landscape design and construction, as well as foster goodwill through friendly competition. The winners of this year's Environmental Beautification Awards were:
- Unique Use of Water (Unlimited): Luke Kreye of Emil Kreye and Son, Inc.
- Unique or Unusual (Less than $6,000): Pietro Furgiuele of Waterford Tilling
- Residential ($10,000 to $25,000): Salvatore A. Masullo of Ireland Gannon Associates, Inc.
- Garden Structures & Pavements (Over $25,000): Gary Blum of Schlick Design Group
- Residential ($50,000 to $100,000): Angelo Fuschetto of Fuschetto & Son, Inc.
- Residential (Over $100,000): Phil Teribile & Dwight Andrews of Terri Associates Landscape Corp.
- Residential (Over $100,000): Neal Goldberg & Tom Rodler of Goldberg & Rodler, Inc.
David Dailey, Jr., President of the New York State Nursery and Landscape Association, said, "Arbor Day is a day to appreciate one of nature's greatest gifts - the tree. Trees not only provide beauty and diversity to our landscape, they are vital to our natural balance. Trees are essential windbreakers, they keep soil intact and provide natural fuel and building materials as well as being nature's shade from the sun. From the small sapling to the mighty oak - we are thankful to the tree."
The Arbor Day celebration concluded with the unveiling of the 2011 Arbor Day poster. This year's poster is a photograph taken by Alexis Alvey from Commack, Suffolk County and produced on paper donated from International Paper's Ticonderoga mill from trees harvested in working Adirondack forests managed in accordance with the principles of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
Arbor Day is a nationally celebrated observance that encourages tree planting and tree care and highlights the importance of trees to our environment, our economy and our quality of life. Founded by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska in 1872, National Arbor Day is celebrated each year on the last Friday in April.
Arbor Day in New York State is coordinated by the Arbor Day Committee, made up of representatives from the New York State Departments of Agriculture and Markets and Environmental Conservation, New York State Nursery Landscape Association, New York State Arborists and the Empire State Forest Products Association.