People and landscapes that best exemplify outstanding accomplishments in tree planting, care and stewardship, as well as the overall importance of trees.

Lorax Award

Honoring an individual who, like The Lorax, "speaks for the trees" by championing environmental education and stewardship. 

Clarice Marie Luther

Clarice’s love of the Earth was life-long. She described her first 15 years growing up on a Minnesota farm as “idyllic”. Clarice later settled in California and traveled to the mountains, Muir Woods, redwoods, and coastline, where she was enthralled by the trees.

Early in their marriage, Clarice and her husband bought a home in East Sacramento where she gradually created a blossoming oasis of trees, tall shrubs, ferns, and vibrant flowers for her family of 12 children. An elm tree on her property was “treated like a 13th child,” she said. Clarice had the towering elm treated annually for healthy growth. She also hired arborists to maintain the shape and health of all the trees surrounding her.

Clarice was a conservationist and supporter of environmental causes too. She consciously chose to add natural beauty to her neighborhood. Throughout the 70 years she lived in her home, Clarice witnessed repeated waves of development which caused the elimination of neighbors’ homes -- as well as countless trees. She was steadfastly committed to remain in her home with the trees surrounding it though. Clarice ultimately "spoke for the trees" during the demolition and construction of adjacent properties. She worked diligently with arborists to protect the now Heritage Elm Tree and others. Clarice also planted countless trees for family and friends, teaching them the importance of tree care and the joys of gardening.

Clarice died at age 99 in April 2017 knowing the giant elm tree was once again full with leaves, shading her home and contributing to the neighborhood's overall canopy. Her backyard has a complete, tall canopy created all by trees she planted. East Sacramento is truly a greener, healthier, and more beautiful place thanks to all of her efforts.