The Wake Forest Urban Forestry Advisory Board (UFAB) recognized its 2010 Green Medal Award and Arbor Day Poster Contest winners during its annual Arbor Day celebration on March 11.

Green Medal Awards recognize individuals, civics clubs, and businesses who work to promote Wake Forest’s urban forest. This year’s honorees were the Wake Forest Garden Club (Civic Green Medal Award); Betsy Philips, Monique Delage, and Briana Whitney of the Heritage Home Owners Association Open Space & Greenway Committee (Project Green Medal Award); and Holly Hunt (Individual Green Medal Award).

The UFAB also sponsors an annual Arbor Day Poster Contest whereby participants design a poster that reflects their knowledge of a theme presented by the National Arbor Day Foundation. This year over 100 students in Wake Forest’s elementary schools submitted posters related to the theme “Trees are Terrific…and Energy Wise.”

Poster contest winners for 2010 were Alyse Hood, a fifth grader at Jones Dairy Elementary, who won the top prize for “Best Picture” and “Fifth Grade State Entry”; Denver Massey, a fourth grader at Wake Forest Elementary, for “Most Creative”; and Rachel Giles, a second grader from Wake Forest Elementary, for “Honorable Mention.”

All of the winners received award certificates and $50 Series EE Savings Bonds. As a bonus for Hood, her drawing appears as the illustration on this year Arbor Day T-shirt and coffee mugs.

Fourth and fifth graders from Jones Dairy Elementary School, under the direction of William Rashleigh, B.M., M.M., provided the program entertainment by performing several musical numbers. Also during the program, the Town of Wake Forest accepted its 31st consecutive recertification as a “Tree City USA” and received its 15th “Growth Award” from the Arbor Day Foundation.

Arbor Day is part of an annual nationwide campaign to promote the planting of trees. The event began in Nebraska in 1872 when newspaper journalist J. Sterling Morton proposed a tree-planting holiday to the State Board of Agriculture.

Although National Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April, individual state commemorations are scheduled on dates better suited to each state’s own tree-planting season. North Carolina celebrates Arbor Day on the first Friday following March 15.

The Wake Forest Urban Forestry Advisory Board was established in 1978 as an advisory committee to the Wake Forest Board of Commissioners. The nine-member committee oversees all planting in rights-of-way and on public property.

For more information Wake Forest’s Urban Forestry program, contact Assistant Planning Director Ann Ayers at (919) 554-6143.

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