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

April 30, 2010

Arbor Day Celebrated in New York State

New Yorkers Encouraged to Recognize Numerous Contributions Provided by Trees

The New York State Arbor Day Committee, made up of several state agencies and industry associations, was joined by state and local officials to celebrate Arbor Day in Albany’s West Capitol Park.  This annual celebration encourages New Yorkers of all ages to recognize the importance of trees and the impact they make in our everyday lives.

            “New York is a green state naturally with an abundance of beautiful and healthy trees,” said First Lady Michelle Paige-Paterson.  “Today, we recognize all that trees provide and celebrate Arbor Day with the planting of a new tree that symbolizes life and prosperity, while providing shade, beauty, and a whole host of environmental benefits for New Yorkers who visit this park.”

            New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Patrick Hooker said, “New York has more trees and more forest land than any other northeastern state.  The good stewardship efforts of New York farmers and foresters help keep this State green and gorgeous.  Take time to recognize the numerous contributions trees make to our daily lives and put your good stewardship efforts to work by planting a new tree to celebrate Arbor Day this year.”

This year’s celebration included a ceremonial planting of a Greenspire Linden in West Capitol Park to replace a fallen tree.  West Capitol Park, located in the center of Downtown Albany served as the perfect backdrop for this celebration as it is filled with Greenspire Linden trees and serves as a popular lunchtime destination for State employees and visitors to Albany.  The tree was donated by Northern Nurseries in Schenectady to the New York State Arbor Day Committee.

Office of General Services (OGS) Commissioner John C. Egan said, “Arbor Day is even more relevant today than it was almost 140 years ago when it began.  In many ways, trees are our future – an important part of the ecosystem that affects the quality of the air we breathe, the temperature and so much more.  Governor Paterson has made sustainable, environmentally responsible programs a priority in his administration and planting a tree is symbolic of those efforts. At OGS, we have implemented numerous recycling initiatives that help protect the trees we have and contribute to the future of our planet.”

            Pete Grannis, State Environmental Conservation Commissioner, said, “Arbor Day happens to be one day of the year, but we need to be concerned about trees every single day.  Trees are indispensable. They improve the quality of all our lives, by providing clean air for our environment, furnishing habitat for wildlife and contributing a range of everyday products. And they enhance the beauty of our largest cities and most rural towns. We can't understate their importance."

            The Arbor Day celebration also recognized Lawrence Kwong, a fifth grader from P.S. 193 Gil Hodges School in Kings County, Brooklyn, New York who won the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s 2010 Arbor Day Poster Contest depicting the theme, “Trees are Terrific and Energy Wise!” His winning artwork has been reproduced in posters and bookmarks to be distributed through the State.

            Featured today were the presentation of the New York Nursery and Landscape Association’s Environmental Beautification Awards. This program is designed to highlight excellence and quality in landscape design and construction as well as foster goodwill through friendly competition. The winners of this year’s Environmental Beautification Awards were:

  • Michael Zaino, Louis Zaino Inc. and Michael Spitzer, RLA, ASLA, LANDGARDEN, New York, New York County, won for Residential costing over $100,000.
  • Timothy Barry, Dodds & Eder, Oyster Bay, Nassau County, won for both Residential, costing from $25,000 to $50,000 and $50,000 to $100,000.
  • Steven Dubner, Steven Dubner Landscaping Inc., Dix Hills, Suffolk County, won for Commercial, costing over $100,000.
  • Beth M. Feldman, CNLP, Haven On Earth Garden Designs Ltd., Greenlawn, Suffolk County won for Unique or Unusual, costing more than $6,000.
  • Luke Kreye, Emil Kreye & Son Inc., Hempstead, Suffolk County, won for Unique Use of Water, Unlimited.


            Michael Grimm, President of the New York State Nursery and Landscape Association, said, “Arbor Day is our holiday where we, as green professionals, celebrate the role trees play in enhancingour environment, enriching our communities and creating a natural joy in our everyday lives.  As landscapers, nursery owners and arborists, we must continue to pass along our knowledge to our young people on the importance of trees, the role they play in the environment and most importantly, how to care for them.”

            Every year, the New York State Arborists, ISA Chapter, Inc. awards a $1,000 scholarship to a deserving student specializing in a field related to tree culture or care.  This year, Emily Tinalli of Coram (Suffolk County), who attends Farmingdale State College, received the scholarship to further her career goals with an Associates Degree in General Horticulture.

            Trevor Hall, Regional Governor of the New York State Arborists, said, “We are very pleased to support the Albany Arbor Day ceremony. We have participated in this event for a number of years and see it as a great opportunity to inform the public and upstate New York about our passion for trees and shrubs. Events such as this provide us with a platform to celebrate our profession and the environmental contributions we make to local communities across the state.”

The Arbor Day celebration concluded with the unveiling of the 2010 Arbor Day poster.  This year’s poster is a photograph taken by Stewart Sacklow in Cleverdale (Warren County) and produced on paper donated from International Paper’s Ticonderoga mill from trees harvested in working Adirondack forests managed in accordance with the principles of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

            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 and Environmental Conservation, New York State Nursery Landscape Association, New York State Arborists and the Empire State Forest Products Association.

2010 Press Releases