The Fairfax County Tree Commission on Dec. 28 announced recipients of its 2021-22 Friends of Trees Awards.
The commission is recognizing 12 county residents and groups as champions of the county’s urban forest and will honor them Jan. 5 at the organization’s online meeting.
Since 1999, the Friends of Trees awards ceremony has highlighted exceptional, outstanding and innovative tree-conservation actions in Fairfax County that protect and preserve existing trees and associated habitats; increase urban tree canopy and its related habitats; educate and inspire people to plant more trees and properly maintain them; or convey an understanding of the value and benefits of trees.
Developers who go “above and beyond” county requirements to preserve and protect trees and associated habitats also are eligible for these awards.
The 2021-2022 award winners are:
• Margaret Fisher and Heidi Allen from the Plant Nova Trees “Tree Rescuers” program.
• Cathy Ledec, a former Tree Commissioner and member of Friends of Huntley Meadows Park, Northern Virginia Audubon Society and Mount Vernon District Environmental Committee.
• Great Falls Citizens Association.
• Loft Ridge Homeowners Association.
• Megan McCullough and Dan Malone of Stantec Consulting, for Hollin Hills stream restoration.
• Fairfax County Public Schools and Fairfax County’s Urban Forest Management Division, for joint projects at Fort Hunt and Greenbriar West elementary schools, Irving Middle School (together with Girl Scout Troop 5532), Whitman Middle School and Justice High School.
Tree Commission chairman Cindy Speas praised the winners as embodying the passion local residents have for trees.
“The winning projects are perfect examples of what all of us – individuals, government agencies, groups and businesses – can do together to save trees and improve our green spaces,” she said. “The results are a better, healthier quality of life for residents, both now and in the future.”
The Tree Commission was established in 1993. To maintain, preserve and expand this canopy, the Board of Supervisors relies on the 15-member commission for advice and support regarding urban-forest conservation and preservation.
Tree canopy covers more than 50 percent of Fairfax County, county officials said.
For more information on the commission, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/publicworks/tree-commission. For information on the Jan. 5 ceremony, see the Website at visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/publicworks/tree-commission/meetings-agenda.