2018 Tree Heroes

C.K. McClatchy Award

Leland Ruth

This year we are thrilled to present Lee Ruth with the C.K. McClatchy Award! As a founding member of the River Park Tree Canopy Project, Lee’s leadership resulted in four community plantings that gave homes to 100 new trees throughout this neighborhood. Along with Councilmember Jeff Harris, he also planted eight trees at Glenn Hall Park and, by himself, kept them watered through the drought years to ensure their survival. His stewardship of public trees includes the care and watering of trees at McKinley Park as well. This Tree Hero has demonstrated a tremendous commitment to the growth and health of our canopy in so many ways.


Austin B. Carroll Award

Clear Channel Outdoor

Planting a tree is a simple but powerful step to community activism and engagement. Over the past two years, Clear Channel Outdoor partnered with the Sacramento Tree Foundation to develop a shade tree beautification project along Highway 160. Their enthusiasm brought together many community organizations to implement a plan to transplant and steward up to 50 native trees this October for NeighborWoods month. Help from Caltrans, the Woodlake Improvement Club, the North Sacramento Chamber of Commerce, and the Woodlake Swim Club will make this planting a truly community-based event.


Growing Greenprint Award

City of Sacramento Public Works, Urban Forestry

The City of Sacramento Department of Public Works, Urban Forestry plays a vital role in protecting Sacramento’s urban forest through its monitoring initiatives, and for that reason, we are proud to present them with the 2018 Growing Greenprint Award. In partnership with the Sacramento Tree Foundation, the Urban Forestry Department works through the Save the Elms Program (STEP) to compile volunteer-collected data and so they can monitor Sacramento’s remaining elm trees. In the past two years alone, the City confirmed 20+ cases of Dutch elm disease through this program. Their efforts to stop the spread of this disease saved dozens of other elms from becoming infected and, ultimately, chopped down. The City works tirelessly to ensure the health and wellbeing of our urban forest, and their specific commitment to these beloved historical elms is inspiring.


Legacy Award

Austin B. Carroll Grove at Natomas Oaks Park

Surrounded by a woodland of ancient native valley oaks, visitors are seemingly transported back throughout California history. These trees, some 375 years old, graciously shared their home over the ages with indigenous tribes, pioneering farmers, countless deer, quail, and woodpeckers, and now modern visitors. This picturesque grove offers the urban dweller an opportunity to visit a time when nature and humans more peacefully coexisted. With large branches collecting moisture from the earth to be delivered skyward, the canopy forms an interlocking familial chain that creates a cathedral-like dome enveloping this acreage. It reminds us of the need to preserve what once was and what should always be for the generations to come.

-Richard Perez, City of Sacramento Parks Operations


Lorax Award

Made in the Shade Film Crew

Phil D’Asaro, Bruce Handley, and Joni Ramirez spent more than two years and countless hours documenting the story of Sacramento’s urban forest. This film chronicles what it took to build this canopy and reminds us of the reasons why we continue to maintain this fabulous resource. After many visits to historical archives, around-town interviews, edits upon edits, and research, this team brought forth an educational film for the masses that is sure to become a legacy. We are proud to bestow them with the 2018 Lorax Award.