Past Canopy Tree Awards

Every year, Canopy acknowledges selected community members through its Arnold Soforenko Award that recognize significant contributions to our local urban forest, Out-on-a-Limb Award for outstanding urban forestry volunteer efforts, Young Forester Award given to young persons who exemplify Canopy’s values of stewardship, education and service, and Canopy Chair Award that recognizes outstanding work by an individual to advance Canopy’s mission.

January 2019 Award Recipients

Arnold Soforenko Awardees

Mountain View Trees, for their efforts in and contribution to sustaining and enhancing the urban forest in Mountain View since 2006.

Mountain View TreesFor the past 12 years, Mountain View Trees has worked with city staff to organize tree plantings at various parks, schools, trails, and neighborhoods. Volunteers of Mountain View Trees have conducted surveys to help monitor the health of young trees.

Through its education and outreach programs, including tree walks, mulching, pruning and tree selection workshops, tabling at the Sunday Farmers’ Market, neighborhood events, summer watering campaign as well as Arbor Day activities, Mountain View Trees has educated residents not only about the important benefits of trees, but also how to care for and appreciate trees.

As a volunteer-based community organization, Mountain View Trees has made a significant impact in sustaining and enhancing the urban forest in Mountain View. Thank you, Mountain View Trees, for your contribution!

Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, for the Healing Gardens and Outdoor Spaces project which incorporate nature beautifully into the hospital campus, to promote healing and regeneration.

Gardens at the New Stanford Children’s HospitalThe Gardens at the new Stanford Children’s Hospital covers 3.5 acres, and includes five distinct garden areas supporting enhanced healing and regeneration environments for patients, their families, and hospital staff. Founded on clinical evidence that access to nature, trees, and gardens benefits health treatment and recovery outcomes, the Gardens offer much to enhance the patient experience.

The Gardens are safe places developed with interesting pathways and topographies, trees and plant selections that attract birds, bees and butterflies, ample seating, and they integrate interactive artwork and sculpture. In addition to an interesting and varied plant selection including many flowering species, the project includes installation of 175 new trees, many of them native.

68 trees were planted near the public edges to replace 1-for-1 or 2-for-1 the trees that needed to be removed for project development. Within a relatively short time period, these trees will grow to create a significant forest buffer around the new Hospital. The Gardens’ irrigation system is very sophisticated and uses building system reclaimed water and rainwater collected in cisterns.

VMware, for creating the first comprehensive tree management plan for a corporate campus in Palo Alto.

VMware campusWith its 3,300 trees in a natural looking setting, the VMware campus looks more like a university campus than an office park. Recognizing that these trees provide substantial benefits to VMware employees, their visitors, and the surrounding community, VMware’s management is committed to preserving the vitality of their campus’s forest.

They asked Davey Resource Group to inventory all the trees and propose a long term plan to manage and renew their tree canopy over the next twenty years and beyond. The plan includes recommendations for removing dead and hazardous trees, for pruning and maintaining other trees, providing supplemental irrigation to some, and of course for planting new trees.

To ensure that day to day operations remain aligned with the long-range objective of the plan, the plan will be revised every five years. A bonus for VMware is that as part of the City of Palo Alto’s approval of the plan the City also approved a streamlined permit process for tree removals and replacements.

Out-on-a-Limb Awardees

Penny Ellson, Sherry Listgarten, and Karen Pauls, for their determination and creativity organizing neighborhood plantings in Palo Alto’s Greenmeadow neighborhood to meet their community’s need for trees and connection.

Greenmeadow Tree Champions CROPPEDPenny, Karen, and Sherry have risen the bar for Canopy neighborhood plantings in Palo Alto. As soon as they heard about the South Palo Alto Tree Initiative, they immediately got their neighborhood in on the action. Free trees was an offer they didn’t want Greenmeadow to miss out on. They went door to door with flyers and used every form of technological and print media to encourage residents to sign up.

The tree plantings in March and October 2018 were back-to-back hits, largely because of their genuine enthusiasm and hospitality, and from gathering residents and volunteers together to celebrate the accomplishment with great food!

It’s special to see friends band together to cultivate a deeper sense of community, and we’re thankful they felt so passionate about making tree planting a way to do it.

Diane Guinta, for sparking a curiosity and love for trees within the next generation of environmental stewards.  

From day one, Diane has offered endless enthusiasm to Canopy’s education programs as an Education Leader. Diane is a natural teacher and has an ability to guide student inquiry, encourage their sense of wonder, and inspire in them a love for trees.

This past summer, Diane spearheaded a revision of Canopy’s “Under the Tree” lesson for second graders.  Drawing from her scientific background, she infused the lesson with elements to promote scientific investigation and redesigned a portion of the lesson to be more accessible to English Language Learners.

Diane spent countless hours at the library reading every children’s book about trees until she landed on two new books to pilot this school year. She is committed to growing and improving Canopy’s education programs because she believes that every student should have access to nature and hands-on science.  We are grateful for the many ways that Diane supports Canopy’s mission.

Stephanie Enos, for sparking a curiosity and love for trees within the next generation of environmental stewards.  

Stephanie EnosFor the last three years, Stephanie has been a committed Education Leader at Canopy and has shared her love of trees and the urban forest with over 500 students. She has a knack for making personal connections with students and celebrates their discoveries whether big or small.

Stephanie is an artist and former art teacher, and has infused her artistic talent into several of Canopy programs for children, teens, and adults. Most recently, Stephanie designed beautiful felt boards for young students to build their own trees as part of Canopy’s “Under the Tree” lesson. The felt boards have been a huge success and have provided a hands-on opportunity for students to be creative while learning about tree parts and their functions.

Stephanie is a generous resource for Canopy — not only does she give a great deal of time to enhancing the education programs, she opens her home for planning meetings, and you never know when she’ll drop off a basket of acorns or a sprouting buckeye to use in a lesson. We are grateful for Stephanie’s dedication to inspiring the next generation of environmental stewards.

James “Kimo” Hempstead, for his positive impact on local communities through outstanding dedication and hard work as a Canopy planting leader.  

Kimo Hempstead

Kimo (in the yellow vest) with his planting team

Kimo is the model for the type of volunteer Canopy would like to attract. Once exposed to Canopy’s activities, Kimo has been a regular and enthusiastic volunteer at our planting events.

He completed the Planting Leader Training in 2017 and has led volunteer groups at nearly every planting event since.

His dynamic personality engages all his volunteers and encourages them to learn and to get the most out of the planting experience.



Young Forester Awardees

Eric Perez, for his four years of dedication to Canopy’s Teen Urban Forester program.

Eric PerezEric has been a cornerstone of the Teen Urban Forester program for the past four years. It has been a pleasure to watch his knowledge and love of the urban forest grow over time.

Eric started working at Canopy when he was a quiet freshman and now in his senior year, he has taken on a leadership role within the program, including training his peers and speaking at Canopy’s public events.

He has consistently been a role model for his fellow TUFs and volunteers alike, and his positive attitude and sense of humor allow him to collaborate and work well with anyone. We thank him for all of his hardwork!

January 2018 Award Recipients

Canopy Chair Awardee

Dave Dockter, for twenty-one years of remarkable dedication to the Palo Alto urban forest.

Thanks to Dave, retiring City of Palo Alto Planning Arborist, the Palo Alto urban forest is vibrant, and trees have special standing in the community. Dave started by creating effective policy with the Palo Alto Tree Protection Ordinance and the internationally acclaimed Tree Technical Manual, and for twenty-one years he enforced them with great resolve.

Project by project, tree by tree, Dave convinced property owners, developers, architects, and city staff to employ innovative solutions that retain valuable trees and create beautiful and functional landscapes.

In an era of increased urbanization and development, Dave has shepherded projects to ensure arboricultural accuracy and awe-inspiring design around trees, making Palo Alto an urban forest to emulate.

Dave has generously shared his expertise and passion with a generation of professionals, advocates, students of all ages, and the community at large. He has been a dear friend of Canopy’s and an amazing partner.

Arnold Soforenko Awardees

Google and San Francisco Estuary Institute, for breakthrough research, investment, and advocacy for native oaks and resilient landscapes, and the development of “Re-Oaking Silicon Valley.”

Google and the San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI) have been instrumental partners to restore and enhance our local environment for people and wildlife.

Google advocates for the study and planting of native oaks, prioritizes native plantings in their campus projects, and has invested pivotal funding for Canopy to kick off The Great Oak Count this fall.

With Google funding, SFEI has created several significant research-based recommendations for groups like Canopy to use and share with others aspiring to build resilient and vibrant cities in harmony with nature.

Re-Oaking Silicon Valley” is not only a powerful tool for practitioners, but also a beautiful book that can inspire everyone to appreciate our native oaks, and to advocate and work toward the restoration of native landscapes.

We look forward to working with these organizations in the future, and we’re eager to see what they have in store next.

John Rawlings, for creating “”, a one-of-a-kind resource about trees and their history on the Stanford Campus, and Sairus Patel, for providing universal access to “” and enriching the site’s content, making it beautiful and eminently functional.

A long-time Stanford Libraries staff member now retired, John Rawlings was an early adopter of the web for library guides and instruction. In 2005, he helped Ron Bracewell complete the Trees of Stanford book, including preparing the book’s detailed maps.

That same year, John created the “” website.

Not only did he transfer all the book’s material online but in partnership with his wife Sara Timby, John also added a treasure trove of additional information: encyclopedia entries on shrubs and vines, new tree species not mentioned in the book, essays on Stanford botanists and the history of landscaping at Stanford, and extensive resource lists.

He also added a number of photographs, which complemented the distinctive, literally photocopied leaf images in the book. With this website, John created a living record of sixty years of tree history on the Stanford campus.

Sairus Patel, a long-time Canopy volunteer and past board member, continued Ron Bracewell and John Rawling’s legacy when he took on the website project a few years ago. He started by making the website mobile-friendly, which provided immediate access for a brand new and young audience, who can use their phone to explore the campus forest.

Being a typography and font expert, Sairus also re-designed the website completely from scratch, making it resolutely modern and beautiful.

He introduced some of the “glamour shots” of campus trees and included them in new social media channels for the website. This caught the attention of the Stanford Alumni Association, with whom he is now starting a #TreesofStanford social media collaboration. No wonder a Stanford student recently exclaimed: “This is the best web page of the Stanford website!”

The 1400 Page Mill Road Project, for innovative work to design and integrate a drought-tolerant landscape with native and adaptive trees in the redevelopment of 1400 Page Mill Road in Palo Alto.

Owner: Hanover Page Mill Associates, L.P.

Architect: Form4 Architecture

Landscape Designer: Studio Five | Design

Arborist: David Babby

For the collaborative effort of the owners, Hanover Page Mill Associates, L.P.; the architect, Form4 Architecture; and the landscape designer, Studio Five | Design, to innovatively design and integrate a drought-tolerant landscape with native and adaptive trees in the redevelopment of 1400 Page Mill Road.

The owner’s ecological perspective and leadership in sustainability guided the project team in the development of a LEED Platinum and Net-Zero Electric building integrated with vibrant and healthy tree canopy for increased natural habitats and improved stormwater management

Out-on-a-Limb Awardees

Jeff Greenfield, for outstanding volunteer work to help Canopy select, build, and launch our first online tree mapping tool, Tree Plotter.

In addition to being a regular Planting Leader and advocate for well-maintained Palo Alto parks, over the last two years Jeff has provided technological acumen and expertise throughout Canopy’s process to choose and construct a valuable tree mapping tool.

Tree Plotter is a long-awaited platform to engage the public in exploring our urban forest, and help Canopy manage and share data about our trees and programs.

This endeavor to blend our programs with new technology would not be possible without Jeff’s dedication and assistance. He’s provided impressive ideas, testing, feedback, and organization to a complex and multifaceted project.

We are grateful to him for sharing so much of his time and skills with Canopy, and ultimately, with the communities we serve. We look forward to working with him even more in the future.

Marilyn Keller, for years of dedicated service to our local urban forest as a Canopy volunteer and board member, and as an active advocate for Palo Alto’s trees.

Marilyn has been a positive force for Palo Alto’s trees for a long time. As an advocate, Marilyn was a strong voice for trees at PAUSD’s Sustainable Schools Committee where she helped put in place what we believe is the nation’s first school district tree policy, passed in 2011.

As a Canopy volunteer, Marilyn has helped plant and care for thousands of trees and bring Canopy’s message to new audiences at countless community events.

As a former board member and current committee member, Marilyn continues to be an essential part of the Canopy family, bringing a unique perspective to Canopy’s governance and strategy. And finally, as a model of stewardship in action, Marilyn has inspired her entire family to join her, not just in planting and caring for their own trees–of which they have many–but in becoming advocates and community volunteers in their own right.

For all of these things, we honor and cherish Marilyn Keller.

Young Forester Awardees

Kelly Cortes, for her excellent work as a Canopy volunteer and Teen Urban Forester in service of growing and caring for our local urban forest.

Kelly has been volunteering with Canopy since her first year of high school. In fact, Program Manager Uriel Hernandez and her went to their first neighborhood tree plantings together in 2015. Since then, Kelly has volunteered with Canopy over 40 times, pruning and planting trees throughout Palo Alto and East Palo Alto. And this isn’t even counting her work with Canopy as a Teen Urban Forester last summer.

She has a knack for trees. When Uriel told her she would be receiving this award it was, fittingly, at a tree planting. She had just volunteered as Planting Leader for the umpteenth time and was telling our TUFs about this amazing phone app where you can prune trees. We know trees are relaxing, but Kelly takes it to another level.

Over the years it has been a pleasure to work with Kelly, to learn with her, and to watch her learn to lead. And lead she does. In addition to developing a keen eye for working with trees, Kelly has a way of explaining things to volunteers and colleagues in a clear, easy-to-understand way, regardless of age. She is very patient, and was often a rock for her cohort of TUFs.

Kelly is an amazing volunteer and truly deserving of this award. Through her service and arboricultural skills, she is a young forester through-and-through, and we are proud to honor her today.

January 2017 Award Recipients

Arnold Soforenko Awardees

Bol Park Pathway Committee, for investing in a beloved community asset, and for their instrumental role initiating a significant native tree planting along the Bol Park Bike Path.

The Bol Park Pathway Committee is dedicated to addressing some of their neighborhood’s needs, including initiating the planting of 105 trees along the Bol Park pathway this year. They saw many trees removed for development nearby, and saw to it that new trees were planted in order to shade, beautify, and benefit this popular trail (and the whole community) for many years to come.

For their commitment to community greening, Canopy is pleased to present the Bol Park Pathway Committee with the Arnold Soforenko Award.

Michelle Daher, for her dedication to East Palo Alto’s environment, quality of life, and community health, and for her enthusiastic and instrumental support of Canopy’s efforts to bring more trees to East Palo Alto.

Michelle’s job title at the City of East Palo Alto is Environmental Programs Management Analyst, but she is so much more than an analyst. Her personal focus and passion are to enhance the community’s health by protecting and improving the environment.

Many of East Palo Alto’s public health challenges stem from legacy environmental justice issues. Michelle’s goal is to address these through programs such as stormwater compliance, trash reduction, creating a bikeable and walkable community, and by restoring the lungs of the City. Michelle knows the vital role that a vibrant tree canopy plays in a community. For the last five years she has tirelessly supported Canopy’s staff and programs. She has provided communication, facilitation, and coordination for Canopy’s Parks and neighborhood tree plantings, and she successfully advocated for and made possible a service contract between Canopy and the City.

There is no question that Canopy’s impact in East Palo Alto would not be what it is today without Michelle’s unwaivering support. For her commitment to a resilient urban environment in East Palo Alto, Canopy is proud to present Michelle with an Arnold Soforenko Award.

Out-on-a-Limb Awardees

John Erving, for generously volunteering his time and landscape design expertise to help Canopy revitalize local parks through tree and understory plantings, including at Jack Farrell Park and Martin Luther King Park in East Palo Alto.

John ErvingJohn possesses all the attributes that make an excellent landscape designer. Like any professional artist, he has a solid grasp of form, color, and composition. He knows his plants, carefully selecting species according the conditions of the site and the goals of the design.

He also takes time to develop a vision for each project, listening to the desires and constraints of his client. In our case, he diligently incorporated feedback from Canopy staff and from our local partners.

We are eternally grateful to John and look forward to further partnership in the future. For graciously sharing his time and marvelous skills with Canopy, we are eager to present John with an Out-on-a-limb Award.

Dedra Hauser, for generously volunteering her time and expertise as a professional landscape designer, and for helping Canopy bring nature into neighborhoods through artful community plantings in East Palo Alto and Mountain View.

Canopy has been exceedingly fortunate to work with Dedra Hauser, an acclaimed landscape designer in our community, to create beautiful, resilient, functional, and lasting landscapes that will be enjoyed by residents for years to come.

In East Palo Alto, Dedra worked with Canopy and City staff to transform a barren strip of public right-of-way at a formerly dangerous intersection into a lush, soothing, and vibrant urban oasis.

Dedra has also volunteered for many years as a Canopy planting leader, guiding other volunteers with her friendly and engaging leadership style.

For offering her time and talent, and for her many years of supporting and growing urban nature, we are thrilled to honor Dedra with an Out-on-a-Limb award.


Romain Taniere and Luis Guzman, for their initiative, creativity, and dedication rejuvenating the Kavanaugh neighborhood through a groundbreaking day of tree planting and neighborhood-wide greening, and for demonstrating what’s possible when residents come together to steward their community.

Romain and Luis initially reached out to Canopy to ask if the City had plans to plant trees in the Kavanaugh neighborhood, explaining that many of their neighbors were interested in receiving new trees.

When they found out about the Branching Out program in East Palo Alto, they wasted no time galvanizing their neighbors for a day of tree planting and community greening. They created flyers to pique neighbors’ interest in receiving new trees. They went door-to-door recruiting tree stewards and inviting fellow residents to participate. They involved new partners, inviting diverse community groups to play a part through activities and information tables.

As Canopy’s partners in coordinating the Kavanaugh neighborhood planting, Romain and Luis went above and beyond the usual duties of a neighborhood tree champion, providing hands-on engagement and creative new ideas from start to finish.

They also set a new bar for neighborhood tree plantings, wrapping up the day with a five-star block party that gave residents a chance to celebrate and connect. For their dedication and enthusiasm, and for bringing the community together in this special way, Canopy is proud to present Romain and Luis with an Out-on-a-Limb award.

Will Schulz and Ylem Rubio, for their tireless efforts, enthusiasm, and generosity organizing a large-scale neighborhood tree planting and block party in East Palo Alto’s University Village neighborhood, and for engaging the whole community to grow and steward the urban forest.

In September of 2015, when Canopy first launched the Branching Out initiative, Will reached out to Canopy to see about planting more trees in his area, East Palo Alto’s University Village neighborhood.

Throughout 2016, Will worked with Canopy staff to organize the largest neighborhood tree planting that Canopy has held to date. Will and his wife Ylem walked their neighborhood, notifying neighbors, signing them up to receive new trees, and generating excitement for the planting day. They also coordinated a community barbecue to follow the planting, even donating food and materials to ensure all the hungry tree planters were well fed.

Will is already working with Canopy on a follow-up planting to bring more trees to University Village. For his energy and can-do spirit, and for championing this large-scale project, Canopy is proud to present Will with an Out-on-a-Limb award.


Sharon Hudak, for ongoing service to her community as a dedicated Canopy planting leader, education leader, pruning corps member, event and outreach representative, master cookie baker, and overall volunteer extraordinaire.

Sharon started digging in as a volunteer with Canopy about two years ago, and quickly became a shining volunteer all-star.

She took the Education Leader training and started helping out with Canopy’s classroom lessons. Then she started volunteering at events like the annual party and arbor day festival, offering to help with pre-event prep and important day-of tasks.

Not stopping there, she attended the planting leader training and pruning workshop, becoming a regular presence at Canopy tree plantings and tree care service days. As if that weren’t enough, she occasionally stops by the office with a plate of her incredible homemade cookies for the staff.

For her readiness to help her community, and for her incredible investment of time and talents to support Canopy’s mission, we are thrilled to present Sharon with an Out-on-a-Limb award.

Antoine Gaessler, for greening neighborhoods and engaging the community through his outstanding dedication and hard work as an exemplary Canopy planting leader.

antoine-midtownAs an avid admirer and steward of trees, Antoine first came to Canopy as a regular on neighborhood tree walks. He soon went on to become one of our hardest working and most supportive planting leaders.

Antoine is often the first planting leader to arrive at a planting and the last to leave, ensuring the last tool is loaded before he considers the job done. He often has great ideas to increase efficiency, and makes a point to start conversations with new volunteers.

Antoine consistently goes above and beyond, actively looking for ways to support others. His experience, positivity, and quiet leadership are an invaluable addition to any tree planting. With gratitude for all his hard work, Canopy is thrilled to recognize Antoine with an Out-on-a-Limb award.


Young Forester Awardees

Diamond Allen, for exemplary work representing Canopy, investing in his community, and inspiring those around him as a Teen Urban Forester.

Since his first day as a Teen Urban Forester (or TUF), Diamond set himself apart as an exemplary leader, hard worker, and ambassador for the TUF program.

Canopy staff and volunteers alike have enjoyed Diamond’s friendly and earnest demeanor, as well as his genuine care for the people and community around him.

Canopy as a whole has greatly benefited from Diamond’s willingness to help and teach others, and his aptitude in speaking on behalf of the organization.

For inspiring those around him and for dedicating his time to serve and steward his community, Canopy is pleased to present Diamond with the Young Forester Award.

January 2016 Award Recipients

Arnold Soforenko Awardees

Susan Ellis, for her leadership of Canopy’s organizational and impact growth, and for her service to the trees of the Mid-Peninsula.

Susan EllisSusan has been a volunteer with Canopy for over 10 years, a Board member for 6 of those years, and the Board Chair for 4 years. During this time she played key roles in leading the organization to expand its impact not only in Palo Alto, but into surrounding communities as well.

Among her many accomplishments, Susan led Canopy’s strategic planning effort, forged relationships with the Ravenswood City School District, led a major upgrade to the Canopy Tree Library, redesigned and updated all of Canopy’s Neighborhood Tree Walks, served on multiple committees, and provided indispensable leadership to the organization. Collectively, her efforts have been instrumental in Canopy’s growth and ability to provide enhanced programs in support of the local urban forest.

Herb Fong, for a long and distinguished career growing and stewarding the remarkable urban forest of the Stanford University campus.

Herb FongHerb Fong expertly took on the stewardship of one of Stanford’s greatest assets: it’s trees. In 36 years of caring for trees at Stanford, 20 of those as Head Grounds Manager, Herb shaped the campus into the incredible mosaic of diverse landscapes and species that we enjoy today.

Herb continues to serve the campus and community as a wellspring of local tree knowledge, consulting with home owners, municipalities, and nonprofits. Canopy has been extremely lucky to benefit from his knowledge and enthusiasm as an expert speaker, tree walk guide, and trained Education Leader helping to inspire the next generation of environmental stewards.

The 458 Channing Avenue Project Team, for remarkable dedication and innovation in protecting a Coast Live Oak during development.

Channing Avenue ProjectOwner: Paul and Melonie Brophy

Arborist: Michael Young, Urban Tree Management Inc

Architect: Tai Ikegami, Feldman Architecture

Landscape Architect: Bernard Trainor, Bernard Trainor + Associates

General Contractor: Sean Clinton, Baywest Builders

Landscape Contractor: Mike Hertzer, Modern Landscaping Inc

Structural Engineer: David Strandberg, Strandberg Engineering

City Environmental Planner & Arborist: Dave Dockter, City of Palo Alto

The collaborative effort of the owners, Paul and Melonie Brophy; the engineer; the landscape architect; the contractor; the architect; and the arborist, Michael Young of Urban Tree Management, ensured the health of the site’s trees throughout the house’s construction and beyond its completion. Driven by the owner’s commitment to turning the challenge of a lot scattered with trees into an opportunity for innovative design, the project team created a structure that not only protected the trees, but celebrated their presence.


Out-on-a-Limb Awardees

Barbara Lindsay, for developing the Our Tree, Our History lesson in order to teach the next generation about El Palo Alto and the importance of trees in our cities.

Barbara LindsayBarbara’s vision to create a field trip and lesson around the historic Redwood tree, El Palo Alto, has led to a magnificent partnership and learning experience for the 4th graders at Walter Hays Elementary. She brought together Canopy, Acterra, and the City of Palo Alto as partners to create the lesson, Our Tree, Our History. For this unique education experience, students visit El Palo Alto to learn about it’s history and the native ecology surrounding it, and become arborists for the day taking the tree’s measurements.

The program was piloted two years ago with Barbara’s 4th grade class. With her leadership, the lesson has expanded this year to include all the 4th grade classes at Walter Hays Elementary. Canopy is proud to recognize Barbara’s dedication and passion for teaching the next generation about trees and the environment.

Jennifer Wei, for service to her community as an all-star Canopy planting leader, education leader, pruning volunteer, consultant, advisor, and friend of the urban forest.

Jennifer WeiIn the two short years that she has been volunteering with Canopy, Jenny has quickly become one of Canopy’s most cherished volunteers. As a planting leader, Jenny warmly engages other volunteers in the important job of building their community through tree planting and tree care. She knows how to get every volunteer involved, make sure everyone is safe and happy, and leaves everyone with a well-deserved feeling of purpose and accomplishment.

As an education leader and former consultant, Jenny uses her expertise and experience in youth education to inspire the next generation of urban forest stewards. As a pruning volunteer and general friend to Canopy, Jenny always looks for ways to help Canopy be the best that it can be. For all of this, we honor Jenny with the Out on a Limb Award.


Young Forester Awardees

Rohan Hofland, for exceptional work coordinating fellow students to plant and care for trees at Gunn High School.

Rohan HoflandAs the 2014-2015 president of the Gunn High School Green Team, it was Rohan’s responsibility to partner with Canopy in coordinating tree planting events at his school. Rohan went above and beyond in his responsibilities, contributing many hours to organizing and publicizing planting events. Rohan also dug in as a tree planting volunteer, lending his hard work and enthusiasm to every task.

Michelle Shen, for her leadership in volunteering at tree care and tree planting workdays with Canopy since 2012.

Michelle ShenMichelle has volunteered with Canopy at tree care and tree planting events since 2012. She started an environmental club at her high school, to inspire other students to work towards improving and protecting the environment. Through this club, Michelle has engaged and inspired her fellow students to join her in creating greener, healthier communities by volunteering with Canopy and other environmental organizations in her area.


Canopy Chair Awardee

Lara Roman, for her work studying and documenting the importance of young tree stewardship, and for highlighting Canopy’s tree survival rates in her scholarly research.

Lara RomanIn 2008, Dr. Lara Roman started monitoring more than 600 trees planted by Canopy along East and West Bayshore Road in East Palo Alto. She monitored those trees for six years as part of her Ph.D. dissertation research on urban tree mortality. When it became clear that the trees were thriving and their survival rate was an outlier, she could not include them in her tree mortality study. Instead, she decided to write another scientific paper about Canopy’s exceptional tree survival rate. This paper was recently published in “Urban Forestry and Urban Greening”, a prestigious international scientific journal. Dr. Roman’s work is instrumental in documenting and disseminating Canopy’s rigorous tree care regiment, and establishing Canopy’s methods as a best practice in urban tree planting.

January 2015 Award Recipients

Arnold Soforenko Awardees:

Walt Hays, for exemplary leadership of the Palo Alto Community Environmental Action Partnership and the Sustainable Schools Committee; for many years as a dedicated Canopy volunteer; for his valued involvement in the Green Ribbon Taskforce; and for lending his trusty truck.

Walt HaysWith this Soforenko Award, Canopy was honored to recognize Walt Hays for a lifetime of service to the environment and the local community. Over the last decade this includes Walt’s leadership on the City of Palo Alto Green Ribbon Task Force, the creation of The Palo Alto Community Environmental Action Partnership (CEAP), and of the PAUSD’s Sustainable Schools Committee.

A tireless advocate for the environment and for sustainability, Walt has been a dedicated supporter of Canopy and of other environmental causes for many years. His support is multi-faceted: from lending his pickup truck every time it’s needed, to organizing Rotary volunteers for tree plantings, and working with Canopy and the Palo Alto Unified School District to create a district-wide School Tree Policy. This policy has become a model for school districts around the country.

Walt has been a vital partner for Canopy, always seeking to ensure the best outcome for the urban forest. His life-long advocacy and service in the community is a gift and an inspiration.

Ravenswood City School District and its leadership, for their invaluable partnership during Canopy’s Healthy Trees, Healthy Kids! initiative to plant 1,000 trees for kids.

RCSDCanopy was delighted to present a Soforenko Award to an institution that has become a close partner of Canopy in recent years: the Ravenswood City School District. Canopy launched the Healthy Trees, Healthy Kids! initiative in 2011 with a goal to plant 1,000 trees for kids in 5 years. We completed the initiative last year, 1 year ahead of schedule and 70 trees over our goal.

The school district and its staff were essential partners in bringing this program to life. Today, over 6,000 school children have been touched by Healthy Trees, Healthy Kids!. With close to 1,600 volunteers, Canopy and partners have planted over 800 trees. We planted at each Ravenswood District school in East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park, engaging youth in the field and in the classroom.

This would not have been possible without the dedication and enthusiasm of the District’s Board of Education, Dr. Gloria Hernandez, the Superintendent, and her staff, the facilities staff, the school principals, the teachers, students and parents — all of whom were fantastic partners. Together, we planned and designed the tree plantings, raised funds for the effort, created planting sites, planted the trees and now we care for them to ensure their successful growth.

1136 Webster Street Residential Renovation Project Team, for exceptional measures taken to protect and enhance trees during the conception, design, and construction of the home at 1136 Webster Street in Palo Alto.

1136 WebsterOwner: Lindsay Chambers
Architect: Andrew Young and Hong Wei, Young and Borlik Architects, Inc.
Arborist: Ned Patchett, Ned Patchett Consulting
Structural Engineer: Mohammad Saaber, Saabco Consulting Inc.
Contractor: Michael Smith, Center-line Construction Inc.

The entire team of architects, contractors, engineers, arborists, and the owner of 1136 Webster Street are to be commended for the measures they took to protect and enhance the treescape at this Palo Alto home during the recently completed renovation project. The team began with a design that worked within the parameters of existing trees—from the limbs above to the roots below—and continued with the conception and execution of a masterful tree protection plan. The finished product is a model of residential development where trees are valued and protected.

Canopy Chair Awardee:

Ann Bilodeau, for her ongoing dedication as a veteran member of the Canopy Finance Committee, and for her invaluable assistance as Canopy’s staff recruiter.

Ann BilodeauAs a Canopy supporter for 18 years, Ann is an outstanding volunteer who has participated in many facets of Canopy’s growth. Not only has Ann participated in the important work of the Finance Committee for many years, she also writes the best minutes!

As Canopy has grown, Ann has taken on the significant task of staff recruitment. With her clear, insightful perspective, Ann has managed this process seamlessly several times. Ann is one of Canopy’s dedicated core supporters who dives into the inner workings of the organization to help make Canopy efficient and effective. Her efforts have been an immense and invaluable gift.

Out-on-a-Limb Awardees:

Kathy Alford, for her expert assistance and leadership during countless pruning and tree care work days this past summer, and for ongoing dedication as a Canopy volunteer and planting leader.

Kathy AlfordKathy has volunteered with Canopy for more than seven years in many different capacities. As a certified arborist and master gardener, Kathy is a valued Planting Leader and Program Committee member.

With Kathy’s Out-on-a-Limb award , we specifically wanted to recognize the tremendous time and effort she has spent skillfully pruning huge numbers of young Canopy trees, and teaching proper pruning technique to others. Kathy came to each and every pruning workday in summer 2014, providing expertise and helpful coaching for our Teen urban Foresters, volunteers, and program staff. She often brings her personal tools to lend to others.

Kathy loves the trees and always does the job right. She enjoys empowering other volunteers and is a skilled teacher. We are lucky to have Kathy as a volunteer, and our trees are lucky to have Kathy as a caretaker.

Jeff Williams, for his enthusiastic volunteer work and leadership at Canopy’s tree planting and tree care work days.

Jeff has been a trusted friend and guide to Canopy for several years. Since completing the Canopy Planting Leader training in 2012, he has become one of our most reliable and energetic volunteers.

He arrives to planting, tree care, and pruning service days enthusiastic and ready to work. He is often is one of the last people to leave at the end of the day. Whether there’s a particularly tough hole to dig or some tough weeds to pull, Jeff digs in and gets the job done. He also brings fun and humor to the task, entertaining other volunteers with stories and jokes. Jeff is an invaluable person to have on the team and we are fortunate and grateful that he’s committed so generously to Canopy.

Rachel Jacobson, for volunteering her time and skills as an expert planting and pruning leader.

Rachel JacobsonAs an up-and-coming landscaping professional, Rachel chose to volunteer her time at Canopy’s tree plantings and pruning service days, often coming to Canopy events all the way from Oakland. She has contributed valuable skills and expertise to Canopy’s volunteer crews and has inspired others with her hard work and quality results. She is a natural, proactive leader who takes time to guide and teach others. Rachel has been an exemplary Canopy volunteer. She’s also a fantastic face-painting artist!

Young Forester Awardees:

Arisa Faron, for supporting Canopy as a volunteer since 2012 and for encouraging dozens of fellow students to participate in caring for young trees.

Arisa Faron 2Arisa began volunteering with Canopy at tree care service days in 2012, and soon became one of our best outreach helpers. We’ve frequently called on her for help engaging other youth in tree care activities.

With her friendly and inspirational style, Arisa has organized students from her service club at Homestead High School in Cupertino. These students have contributed many hours to caring for young trees in Ravenswood schools. Arisa is not only skilled at community organizing and outreach, she is also an enthusiastic and hard-working tree care volunteer herself.

Elizabeth Greenfield, for her amazing work on the Young Tree Care Survey over the last 3 years, and for her dedication as an intern in the summer of 2014.

Elizabeth GreenfieldAfter several years of volunteering for Canopy’s Young Tree Care Survey, Elizabeth offered her services in summer 2014 to prepare and organize Canopy’s annual survey of young street trees in Palo Alto.

Elizabeth is an amazing self-starter and problem solver. She managed her time superbly and often had creative and astute suggestions for improving the survey. Elizabeth was a pleasure to have around the office, and produced high-quality work. We were grateful to have her as part of the team.

Elizabeth Perez, for her service as a Canopy volunteer and ongoing leadership as a member of Canopy’s Youth Tree Corps.

Elizabeth PerezBefore joining Canopy’s Youth Staff last year, Elizabeth volunteered at numerous Canopy plantings and tree care events. Her first event was the tree planting at East Palo Alto Charter School where she went to school. Canopy planted 163 trees that day, and Elizabeth has been planting and caring for trees ever since!

Besides her work with Canopy, Elizabeth is a bright student at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, where she is a member of the debate team, takes a journalism class, and tutors other students in a robotics club. She is an incredibly kind, talented leader—in short, an inspiring example for other young women.

January 2014 Award Recipients

Arnold Soforenko Awards:

Barrie D. Coate, for exemplary commitment to the community and a lifetime of service to the local urban forest.

The Hewlett Packard Historic Oak Tree Preservation Team, for preserving a historic oak tree at the entrance of Hewlett Packard World Headquarters and Executive Briefing Center, and making the tree a centerpiece of the redesigned building.

Team members: Alexa Lallos, Bruce Benton, Karen Olivero, Steve Shokrai and Sam Gelpi of Hewlett Packard; Chuck Albright, Gervais Tompkin, Kevin Schaeffer, Hao Ko, Corinda Wong, Elinor Kumpf and Mark Fairman of Gensler; Jeff Peterson and Amy Dunning of Wilsey Ham; Aditya Advani, Billy Rhyne, Barbara Lundburg, James Ingels and Masahiro Inoue of Royston Hanamoto Alley & Abey; Barrie Coate and Michael Bench of Barrie D. Coate & Associates; Jon Foad, Casey Wend, Mark Whiley, John Abrams and David Radovich of Rudloph and Sletten.

Out-on-a-Limb Awards:

Cristy Osborne, for years of selfless service and infectious cheerfulness at Canopy plantings and tree care events.

Miguel Berumen Sr., for outstanding service and inspiration as a Canopy tree care volunteer.

Young Forester Awards:

Jesus Lopez, for two years of outstanding work as a Canopy Youth Staff member.

Javier Vazquez, for two years of outstanding work as a Canopy Youth Staff member.

Miguel Berumen Jr., for outstanding work as a volunteer and Youth Staff member.

Jorge Rodriquez, for outstanding work as a volunteer and Youth Staff member.

Rory Harriss, for exceptional work as a Planting Leader.

Chair’s Award:

Girvin Peters, for exceptional support of Canopy’s Tree Planting efforts at several Healthy Trees, Healthy Kids! Plantings.

January 2013 Award Recipients

Arnold Soforenko Awards:

Friends of George for working together to save and memorialize the iconic coast live oak, George, at 816 Cowper Street in Palo Alto and replanting the site with a valley oak.

Carol Kiparsky, Casey Leedom, Beth Bunnenberg, Urban Cummings, Michael Meyer (Michael Meyer Fine Wood Working), the Eng Family, Connie Jo Cotton, Elisabeth Rubinfien, Angela Leung, Catherine Cohen, Tina Keegan, Mike Sartor (City of Palo Alto), Peter Jensen (City of Palo Alto), and Joe Rapanut and tree crew (City of Palo Alto)

265 Lytton Avenue Project for preserving the mature signature coast live oak during the commercial redevelopment of 265 Lytton Street in Palo Alto.

Michael King (King Asset Management), Charles King (King Asset Management), Michael Young (Urban Tree Management, Inc.), Dawn Jekins (DES Architects + Engineers, Inc.), Naomi Nishimoto (DES Architects + Engineers, Inc.), Brad Wentz (Wentz Group); John Vlay (Jensen Landscape and Construction Company), Dave Doctor (City of Palo Alto), and Russ Reich (City of Palo Alto)

Out-on-a-Limb Awards:

Scott Wells for planning, organizing, and carrying out the 2012 Young Tree Care Survey.

Bronwyn Alexander for exceptional work as the young tree steward at Belle Haven Elementary School.

Young Forester Awards:

Reed Garber for exceptional work as a Canopy summer intern.

Russell Langston for exceptional work as a Canopy summer intern.

Julien Lévy for spearheading the “Reforest San Bruno” campaign and organizing a large-scale community planting in the neighborhood ravaged by the 2010 gas line explosion.

January 2012 Award Recipients

Arnold Soforenko Awards:

Dave Muffly
Arboreal Project: Team Members: Tom Morrison, Project Manager from D.R. Horton, Inc.; Dennis Hudspeth, Engineer, DR. Horton, Inc.; Scott Johnson, VP of construction, D.R. Horton, Inc.; Jeromey Ingalls, Project Manager and Arborist, Mayne Tree Service; Richard Huntington, Owner, Mayne Tree Service; Steven Turner, Planning Manager, City of Palo Alto

Out-on-a-Limb Awards:

Barb Mackraz
Marian Cortesi
Jeff Langston

The Chair’s Award:

Joe Vavuris

Student Forester Award:

Daniel Noriega-Diaz

January 2011 Award Recipients

Arnold Soforenko Awards:

Mary and Ruth Gordon
Gloria Humble

Ellis Partners, LLC and the Town and the Country Village design team:

Matt Wickens, of Ellis Partners, 
Brent Cottong, Principal, of Cottong & Taniguchi Landscape Architects, 
Ken Hayes, Principal, of Hayes Group, Architects, 
Barrie Coate, Principal and Michael Bench, Associate, of Barrie D. Coate & Associates, Horticultural Consultants and Jason Jacob, Store Manager of Trader Joe’s Palo Alto.

Out-on-a-Limb Awards:

Fred Nichols
Pierre Martineau

The Chair’s Award:

Bill Courington

Student Forester Award:

Darryl Sepulveda

January 2010 Award Recipients

January 2010 Award Recipients:

Arnold Soforenko Awards:

Ad-Hoc California Avenue Tree Citizens’ Group
Jack Morton
Bob Golton

Out-on-a-Limb Awards:

Bob and Kay Schauer
Annette Glanckopf

Student Forester Award:

Javier Magana

January 2009 Award Recipients

Arnold Soforenko Awards:

Classic Residence by Hyatt in Palo Alto: Team members: Steve Brudnick, Executive Director; Dennis Lopiccolo, Director of Engineering; and Ray Morneau, Consulting Arborist; Rick Story, Associate; SWA Group for Landscape Architecture; Max Ornelas, Maniglia Landscape Service owner; and Miguel Medina, General Manager
Jay Farr, City of East Palo Alto Maintenance Division Manager, and his maintenance crews
Kirsten Essenmacher

Out-on-a-Limb Awards:

Alan Broad
Eastside College Preparatory School Step-by-Step Club

Student Forester Award:

James Childs

January 2008 Award Recipients

Arnold Soforenko Awards:

Ron Bracewell, in memoriam
Joe Vallaire
Chuck McDonnell
Virginia Warheit

Out-on-a-Limb Awards:

Hans Weber
Jack Wilson
Allen Chen

January 2007 Award Recipients

Arnold Soforenko Awards:

Pat Foster
Judith and Hans Steiner
The Opportunity Center

Out-on-a-Limb Awards:

Charles Ridley
Sibby Coxhead
Sairus Patel

January 2006 Award Recipients

Arnold Soforenko Awards:

Alex Haedrich
Dave Sandage
Jennifer Kane

Out-on-a-Limb Awards:

Katie Hasnain
Ann Bilodeau

October 2004 Award Recipients

Arnold Soforenko Awards:

Kiwanis Club of Palo Alto
The Trees for El Camino Project

Out-on-a-Limb Awards:

Kacie Draeger
Karin Chapin

October 2003 Award Recipients

Arnold Soforenko Awards:

Roche Palo Alto
Straun Edwards
Susan Rosenberg

Out-on-a-Limb Awards:

Chris Holstrom
James Imahiro
Julie Luu and Talia Bender

October 2002 Award Recipients

The Chair’s Award:

Forest Preston III

Arnold Soforenko Awards:

Dave Dockter
Bill Courington
Susan Wilson

Out-on-a-Limb Awards:

Key Club from Gunn High School
Youth Community Service
Mary McCullough
Ruth Lacey

October 2001 Award Recipients

Arnold Soforenko Awards:

Kevin Raftery
Stanford Management Company, Ramsey Shuyto, Asset Manager

Out-on-a-Limb Awards:

Adam Lishinsky
Mark Pratt
Susan Rosenberg

October 2000 Award Recipients

The Chair’s Award:

Susan Rosenberg

Arnold Soforenko Awards:

3170 Porter Dr. (Incyte Genomics) in the Stanford Research Park: Susan Meany, Stanford Management Co.; Tom Richmond, Landscape Architect; and Ray Morneau, Consulting Arborist
Denis & Jennifer Morrissey

The Leonard Ely Building: Jim Baer, Developer; John Northway, Architect, Devcon Construction; Barrie Coate, Consulting Arborist; Jim Harrington, Dave Sandage; and Dave Dockter, City of Palo Alto

Out-on-a-Limb Awards:

Ann Bilodeau
Karin Chapin
Kim Lemmer
Susan Wilson

September 1998 Award Recipients

California Releaf “Tree Hero” award:

David Schrom (founder of Magic)

Out-on-a-Limb Awards:

Kim Lemmer
Joan van Gelder
Karin Chapin
Forest Preston
Alice Fasbender

October 1997 Award Recipient

California Releaf “Tree Hero” award:

Marge Abel

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