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2010 Tree Heroes

2010 C.K. McClatchy Award

Senator Darrell Steinberg

Senator Darrell Steinberg supports the urban forest through his groundbreaking work in the legislature by creating bills like Senate Bill 375, as well as by planting trees. We would like to recognize Senator Steinberg for his successful stewardship of SB 375: Redesigning Communities to Reduce Greenhouse Gases. SB 375 is the nation’s first law to control greenhouse gas emissions by curbing sprawl. SB 375 provides emissions-reducing goals for which regions can plan, integrates disjointed planning activities, and provides incentives for local governments and developers to follow new conscientiously-planned growth patterns. Both development and preservation are essential to the long-term care and stewardship of the urban forest and the protection of the canopy in the Sacramento region's open spaces. In addition to the important policy work that Senator Steinberg does on behalf of the urban forest, he and his dedicated staff also get involved in grassroots efforts to create healthier and more sustainable communities by organizing local tree planting events. We applaud Senator Steinberg’s commitment to the greening of the Sacramento region and the state of California.

2010 Austin B. Carroll Award

Twin Rivers Unified School District

In 2008, the brand-new Twin Rivers Unified School District planted 1,000 trees to celebrate its inauguration as well as to demonstrate its commitment to the well being of its staff, teachers, students, and the entire community. To facilitate the community building process, the School District collaborated with the Sacramento Tree Foundation to engage as many students and community members as possible. Through this partnership, students, teachers, PTAs, businesses, and the general public all came together to support their schools, learn about the importance of trees and proper planting techniques, and make a difference in their community. With gratitude, we honor the Twin Rivers Unified School District for setting a worthy example of environmental stewardship and community engagement for other districts to model.

2010 Growing Greenprint Award

City of West Sacramento

The City of West Sacramento created its first-ever Tree Program in 2004. At that time, West Sacramento’s City Council, City Manager, and Director of Parks and Recreation wanted to do more than just plant trees, they wanted to educate their citizens about the long-term benefits of trees. Due to their efforts, more than 5,200 trees have been planted since 2005!

The City of West Sacramento has supported the Greenprint initiative since its inception. Its comprehensive tree program includes a free shade tree program for residents, schools and churches; a program focused on replacing trees in older neighborhoods; volunteer tree care days; educational workshops; and continued care and maintenance for every tree planted. West Sacramento’s incredible commitment to improving its community by building a better urban forest makes it the perfect choice for the inaugural Growing Greenprint Award.

2010 Legacy Award

Portola Way Valley Oak

This year’s winner is a valley oak, which stands along the Portola Way alley in Curtis Park. The tree lives in a narrow, naturally regenerated woodland along the northeastern boundaries of the rail yard. This tree is especially noteworthy because it has endured in a populated area of our region with little to no human assistance for more than 100 years. It is a great example of a native tree surviving only on what nature provides.

The majestic tree has the characteristic old valley oak structure with long, trailing branches that reach to the ground. It has a massive trunk and a 111-foot-wide canopy. The branches of this tree, together with the other old oaks in the nearby lots, form an arched canopy over the alley protecting all those that stroll underneath. It is a haven for dog walkers and bird watchers, and a great place to hangout.