Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jessica A. Chittenden

April 27, 2007

First Lady Commemorates Arbor Day in New York

Ceremony Includes Industry Awards, Tree Planting at the Executive Mansion

New Yorks First Lady Silda Wall Spitzer today joined state and local officials, industry representatives, and local school children to celebrate Arbor Day. New Yorks annual Arbor Day observance, which took place during a ceremony at the Executive Mansion in Albany featured a tree planting ceremony, presentation of industry awards and the unveiling of the 2007 Arbor Day poster.

Celebrating the 135th anniversary of Arbor Day at the Executive Mansion is an opportunity to acknowledge the importance of our environment, the First Lady said. Arbor Day reminds us of the value of trees in our communities and that New York is a state with tremendous natural surroundings. Today, New Yorkers should take pride in our environment, especially the trees that fill our forests, line our streets and aesthetically enrich our lives while providing life-sustaining clean air.

The ceremony took place at the Executive Mansion, located on Eagle Street in Albany. The historic mansion has been the home for 29 of New Yorks Governors and their families since 1875 and boasts 5.5 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds. A Cornus Florida Dogwood tree, the earliest of the springtime flowering bloomers, was planted during the ceremony in honor of Arbor Day. This dogwood will brighten the yard of the Executive Mansion throughout all four seasons as the official tree of Arbor Day 2007.

New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Patrick Hooker said, Arbor Day is a time for all New Yorkers to be thankful for the beauty as well as the critical and fundamental functions trees play in all our lives. Whether it is a single tree providing shade on a hot summer day or a stand of tall pines ready to be harvested for various timber products ? trees make New York a greener and healthier state to live in.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis said, "Arbor Day is an opportunity to celebrate one of our most valuable renewable resources. Not only do trees enhance the natural beauty of our urban and rural landscapes, they provide critical habitat for wildlife, improve air and water quality, as well as promote energy conservation. From the Adirondacks to New York City, from Montauk to Niagara Falls, trees are essential for assuring a healthy environment and improving the quality of life in our communities. I encourage everyone to join in the important work of protecting and treasuring these vital resources on Arbor Day and every day."

In addition to the tree planting, the Arbor Day ceremony was an opportunity to recognize several individuals for their outstanding environmental stewardship efforts and contributions within the arboriculture industries.

Earle Peterson of Fly Creek, Otsego County, was recognized as 2007

New York State Tree Farmer of the Year.

Robert Davis of Skaneateles, Onondaga County, was named the 2007 New

York Tree Farm Inspecting Forester of the Year.

Carly Borrello of Woodlawn Elementary School, Schenectady County,

was recognized as the Capital District winner of the 2007 Arbor Day

Childrens Poster Contest.

This years recipients of the State Environmental Beautification Landscape Awards, presented by Michael Pollack, President of the New York State Nursery Landscape Association were:

Timothy Barry of Dodds & Eder in Oyster Bay, Nassau County, received

the grand prize for residential landscaping projects costing $25,000

to $50,000, commercial landscaping projects costing $50,000 to

$100,000, and for unique use of water with an unlimited budget.

John Ratto of J. Ratto Landscaping in Coram, Suffolk County,

received the grand prize for residential landscaping projects costing

$50,000 to $100,000.

Ronald Schlick of Schlick Design in Greenlawn, Suffolk County,

received the grand prize for residential landscaping projects costing

over $100,000.

Sal Masullo of Ireland & Gannon Associates in East Norwich, Nassau

County, received the grand prize for unique use of unusual plants and

materials costing more than $6,000.

Jerry Parmenter of Elemental Landscapes, Inc. in Voorheesville,

Albany County, received the grand prize for garden structures and

pavement projects costing $10,000 to $25,000.

The ceremony concluded with the unveiling of the 2007 Arbor Day Poster, which features a unique leaf design for each of the four seasons created by Joanne Resch of Fort Plain, Montgomery County. Her design, entitled Trees for Life, symbolizes the beauty of the four seasons of trees in New York State. Paper for the posters comes from sustainably-managed Adirondack Forests and was donated by International Papers Ticonderoga Mill.

Arbor Day is a nationally celebrated observance that encourages tree planting and tree care and highlights the importance of trees to our environment, our economy and our quality of life. Founded by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska in 1872, National Arbor Day is celebrated each year on the last Friday in April.

Arbor Day in New York State is coordinated by the Arbor Day Committee, made up of representatives from the New York State Departments of Agriculture and Markets, the Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Nursery Landscape Association, New York State Arborists and the Empire State Forest Products Association.

2007 Press Releases