Celebrating another record-breaking planting season at its annual Leadership Awards Luncheon at the Multnomah Athletic Club on May 19, 2011, Friends of Trees presented its 2011 leadership awards to the following: Individual Leadership Award—Josephine Pope; Business Leadership Award—New Seasons Market; and Community Partner Leadership Award—City of Vancouver Urban Forestry.
Friends of Trees board member and former Portland City Commissioner Charlie Hales, who helped lead the nonprofit’s successful effort to plant 157,000 trees and shrubs through the 1996-2001 Seed the Future campaign, emceed the event. The luncheon was sponsored by The Oregonian and Portland General Electric.
During the program, Portland General Electric Senior Vice President Bill Nicholson presented a check to Friends of Trees Executive Director Scott Fogarty for $3,098.00, representing a dollar for each PGE customer who signed up for paperless billing between March 1 and April 15, 2011. Nicholson also announced that PGE will feature Friends of Trees’ three-year Plant It Portland! campaign on its Rose Festival floats this year.
“We’re excited to go back to the future,” he said, referring to PGE’s lead sponsorship of Friends of Trees’ Seed the Future campaign, which PGE featured in a 1996 Rose Festival float. He said that PGE is pleased to be a lead sponsor of Friends of Trees’ new campaign to plant 16,000 street trees in East Portland neighborhoods, and he looks forward to this year’s Starlight and Grand Floral Parade floats titled “Right Tree, Right Place, Right On!”
In addition, guest speaker Merritt Paulson, owner of the Portland Timbers, described the MLS team’s commitment to the Portland area community through its Stand Together campaign and its commitment to being a green organization. “Our partnership with Friends of Trees is particularly meaningful,” he said, explaining that the Timbers and JELD-WEN will plant a tree for every goal the team scores.
Josephine Pope received the 2011 Individual Leadership Award for her 18 years of generous support for Friends of Trees. Much of the support came in the form of Gift Tree purchases to honor friends and family by having trees planted in their names. “Pope is a true citizen of Portland,” Hales said, listing the many Portland-area environmental organizations she has generously supported for more than a decade.
In accepting her award, Pope said, “My feeling about Friends of Trees is that the mission is essential to our survival.” And, she added “it’s one of the most well-run nonprofit volunteer organizations that I know.”
New Seasons Market Chief Executive Officer Lisa Sedlar accepted the 2011 Business Leadership Award on behalf of the company, which has enhanced the local community through its Benefit Barbecues and generous support for area nonprofits. In addition to extraordinary support for Friends of Trees over the years, New Seasons Market sponsored the December Buckman, HAND, and Richmond neighborhood planting, which kicked off the Plant It Portland! campaign.
Sedlar praised Friends of Trees for enhancing the environment and bringing the community together. The trees that are planted today, she said, will make the Portland metro area “greener and more sustainable for years to come.”
Vancouver Urban Forestry received the 2011 Community Partner Award for its growing partnership with Friends of Trees, which has led to hundreds of new trees in Vancouver neighborhoods and along city streets in recent years.
Vancouver Urban Forester Charles Ray, who was named the 2010 Pacific Northwest ISA Municipal Arborist of the Year, accepted the award on behalf of the city. He pointed out that Friends of Trees and Vancouver Urban Forestry have similar missions and form a “natural partnership.” He urged Friends of Trees and its supporters to “keep up the good work.”
With the help of thousands of volunteers and donors, Friends of Trees planted more than 28,000 trees and native plants during the 2010-11 planting season, which ended last month. Since 1989, the nonprofit has planted more than 415,000 trees and native plants in the Portland-Vancouver metro area. To learn more or to order a tree for your home, visit www.FriendsofTrees.org.
Photos in the slide show above were taken by Amanda Hymansmith.