Past Canopy Tree Awards

Each year, Canopy’s Tree Awards acknowledge volunteers, leaders, and partners who have made important contributions to local urban forests.

Learn about award categories and this year’s awardees or view past award recipients below.

June 2022 Anniversary Tree Champion Honorees

In June 2022, after a hiatus in 2021 due to the pandemic, Canopy was thrilled to return with a special 25th Anniversary edition of our Tree Awards. As part of our Deeply Rooted anniversary event, we recognized eight Tree Champion Honorees along with the key groups they represent.


Susan Rosenberg

Representing Founders and Board Alumni

Susan’s love of trees started in childhood. She admired the majestic native oaks of the Salinas Valley which she considered her wise old friends. In 1994, Susan and her kids left their Palo Alto home for a year to pursue a landscape design program in Massachusetts. When she returned, she learned about Palo Alto’s Tree Task Force and got involved. Thanks to the hard work and advocacy of Susan and her fellow members, the Tree Task Force grew into what is now Canopy and Susan was a founding board member. “Back then,” she shares, “we were just tree huggers. Then the science around trees began to grow, and Canopy’s work took on a whole new significance.”

Since those early days, Susan has continued to nurture the organization and its mission in transformative ways as Board Chair, Governance Committee Chair, volunteer extraordinaire, generous donor, trusted advisor, community ambassador, and tireless champion. In 2015, Susan spearheaded Canopy’s first-ever multi-year campaign, “Growing the Canopy,” and contributed one of the campaign’s lead gifts. She has consistently opened both her heart and her home to the Canopy community, hosting myriad parties, gatherings, and meetings in her beautiful garden. Throughout it all, Susan and her can-do spirit have been a constant source of encouragement, wisdom, and inspiration for the entire Canopy family.

Marty Deggeller

Representing Volunteers and Donors

It’s doubtful that anybody at Canopy has planted as many trees as Marty Deggeller! Marty joined Canopy as a volunteer and board member in 2000 and has been among the organization’s most dedicated volunteers and impactful leaders ever since. Marty has worn almost every hat that exists at Canopy, from chairing the board and program committee and spearheading projects in the field to keeping the organization’s operations and finances running smoothly behind the scenes.

Marty is both a thinker and a doer, and has lent both talents in spades to keep Canopy’s programs growing and serving the community for decades. He’s been instrumental in seeking out new opportunities for tree planting and community partnership, and has helped secure pivotal funding, including Canopy’s state CAL FIRE grants. Not to mention the famous home-smoked salmon he’s provided for many a Canopy party!

At every event, Marty’s love for planting trees, leading volunteers, and bringing people together stand out through his warm welcome, patient teaching, sunny smile, and ready chuckle.

Marty has done all this alongside hundreds, even thousands of fellow volunteers and donors—many of whom Marty has recruited personally! This group of passionate, generous, and dedicated people have powered Canopy’s work from the very beginning. Their invaluable contributions of time, talent, and treasure continue to inspire and make possible Canopy’s impact today.

Pat Foster

Representing Community Leaders and Officials

As the Mayor of East Palo Alto in 2005, Pat Foster asked Canopy to bring more trees to her community. Data showed that children in East Palo Alto were hospitalized for asthma at significantly higher rates than in neighboring communities, and she recognized the critical health benefits that more trees could bring to her constituents. Pat tirelessly championed the project among the City Council and was a key partner in Canopy’s planning process, ensuring local community priorities stayed front and center. With her friendly, fun, and persistent personality, Pat doesn’t take no for an answer when it comes to the future of her community. Her advocacy for trees ensured the success of these early East Palo Alto planting projects and laid a foundation for the city’s visionary new Urban Forest Master Plan.

Elected officials like Pat have been key partners for Canopy since the very beginning, when the organization’s work started as the City of Palo Alto Tree Task Force. Policy is a critical lever in growing equitable urban canopy cover, and elected officials like Pat show up every day to make it happen and serve the community. Local officials have also recognized Canopy as a key link between the city and community and have partnered closely to engage, educate, and connect residents with the urban forest around them.

Eric Perez

Representing Teen Urban Foresters

Eric Perez’s most notable characteristic is his enthusiastic approach to everything he does.  He has genuine interest in trees, the urban forest, and the large-scale environmental impact that can result when people work together.  He is a connector, and during his four-year tenure as a Teen Urban Forester, he inspired fellow high school students, welcomed volunteers, and was a Canopy liaison to residents of his community. Eric is great ambassador and spokesperson for the urban forest and for Canopy’s work—from teaching and mentoring young students to steward trees on their school campuses, to speaking at Canopy’s events, and sharing about the benefits of trees with his neighbors—Eric truly does speak for the trees.  He continues to pursue his passion for the environment through his studies and leadership roles at Georgetown University, and positive change continues to ripple from everything he puts his heart into.

Youth leaders like Eric have been instrumental in Canopy’s work since 2007, when we first piloted the “Youth Staff” program. With their fresh ideas, willingness to take action, and hope for the future, these high school students have a unique ability to engage and inspire others, bringing the rest of the community along as they care for trees, local neighborhoods, and each other.

Walter Passmore

Representing Institutional Funders

As the first Urban Forester for the City of Palo Alto, Walter Passmore helped transform the city’s tree department and spearheaded Palo Alto’s first Urban Forest Master Plan in 2015. His vision and hard work elevated the city to a leader in urban forestry that cities around the world look to for inspiration when managing their own urban forests.

Walter has been a key partner to Canopy, working closely with the organization to engage residents in stewarding tree canopies throughout Palo Alto neighborhoods. Now in his role as the Urban Forest Program Manager at CAL FIRE, Walter continues to champion urban forests at the state level, including developing projects such as the Sustainability and Climate Action Plan to preserve our trees for future generations of Californians.

Leaders like Walter and the institutions they guide—including state agencies like CAL FIRE, local governments and their staff, and private foundations—have played a transformational role in growing Canopy’s programs and impact. CalFire in particular has provided multi-year funding for critical initiatives like Branching Out, which funds tree planting in neighborhoods where tree cover is scarce due to historical development patterns, investing in more environmentally just communities.

Nico Janik

Representing School Communities

Since 2011, Canopy has planted thousands of trees with students and families on the school campuses throughout the Ravenswood City School District. Thanks to Nico Janik, these plantings have been accompanied by hands-on science lessons for students to learn about and care for trees outside their classrooms.

As the STEM Coordinator for the district, Nico has maintained and expanded Canopy’s partnerships with the district and fellow environmental nonprofits, helping us reach every school in the district and ensuring equitable opportunities for students to learn from Canopy’s staff and volunteers under the shade of healthy trees. Nico has been a long-time thought partner, our go-to for questions and resources, and our liaison to principals and teachers for almost nine years. She guided our curriuculm development to align lessons with the Next Generation Science Standards and trained Canopy’s staff and education volunteers on teaching approaches that are inclusive and engaging for all students.

Partnerships with schools have helped Canopy work alongside districts to plant trees with children and for children, in the areas where they learn and play. These school partnerships transform communities by improving the health of students, inspiring these children as the next generation of environmental stewards, and connecting families with tangible ways they can support their communities.

Jason Shirar

Representing Arborists and Landscape Professionals

Man with microphone
Jason Shirar gives a toast at the 25th anniversary event thanking his fellow arborists and landscape professionals for their investment in Canopy’s work.

As a Consulting Arborist at S.P. McClennahan, Jason Shirar is a very busy guy! Nevertheless, he always makes time for Canopy whenever we ask for his help. Jason started volunteering with Canopy in 2015 and was a guiding member of the first Tree Care Task Force, ensuring that Canopy-planted trees receive the care they need to establish and thrive.  He is an educator at heart and genuinely wants people to love, know about, and care for trees as much as he does. He is always willing to share his professional expertise with the community by leading tree walks, writing blog posts, and teaching classes to local residents as part of Canopy’s Community Forestry School. It’s impossible not to be in awe of trees after a program with Jason! It is not uncommon for Jason to pop into the Canopy office with an interesting seed pod or tree branch and we have him to thank for our growing inventory of tree treasures that we share with students and community members alike.

Arborists and other tree professionals like Jason have been contributing their expertise to Canopy’s programs since the beginning, ensuring that Canopy’s programs and methods are grounded in science and guided by industry best practices. These practitioners’ willingness to share knowledge with the whole community has made Canopy a trusted, go-to resource for learning about local trees and their care.

Peying Lee

Representing Grassroots Advocates

Peying Lee’s love for the outdoors and her community have inspired her to be a vocal advocate for growing the urban forest in her home of Mountain View. Peying was a member of Canopy’s first Community Forestry School cohort in 2019. Since then, she’s been a valuable member of Canopy’s advocacy committee and a field planting leader. Channeling her inner “Energizer Bunny,” Peying joins Mountain View city council and commission meetings regularly to advocate around issues including the community tree master plan update, developing with trees in mind, and prioritizing the urban forest in city planning and budgeting. She acts as a liasion between Canopy and GreenspacesMV, a grassroots advocacy coalition in Mountain View, and her community-minded work is helping Mountain View’s urban canopy grow fuller each year.

Advocating for community trees has always been a core part of Canopy’s work, and dedicated residents like Peying have been a driving force in transforming the urban landscape of Midpeninsula communities. As one Canopy board member quipped, “you can plant more trees with a pen than a shovel.” Passionate residents like Peying, actively invested in the future of their communities, have helped strengthen urban forestry legislation, planning, and practices throughout Canopy’s service area and beyond.

One person speaks into a microphone while other people watch on a stage with podium and Canopy logo.Several Tree Champion Honorees with Canopy Board Members at Deeply Rooted, Canopy’s 25th Anniversary event on June 18, 2022. Left-right: Peying Lee, Uriel Hernandez, Kammy Lo, Nico Janik, Walter Passmore, Pat Foster, and Susan Rosenberg.

January 2020 Award Recipients

Chair Awardee

Michael Hawkins, for his dedication to the trees and urban forest of the Midpeninsula and the people who take care of them over his ten year tenure as Canopy’s Program Director.

Shortly after joining Canopy in 2010, Michael was tasked with planning and managing a 200-tree planting at a school in East Palo Alto. All of these trees were planted in one day with a large contingent of volunteers. This was the largest single-day planting ever undertaken by Canopy and somehow we all survived the day. The message that came from that effort was that Michael was well-suited to handle the job of directing and implementing our tree program. His calm and unflappable demeanor was exactly what was necessary for large-scale planting activities.

The experience enabled Michael to develop the skills to deal with the many moving parts of large projects, from planting design, species selection, procuring trees, recruiting and training volunteers, organizing planting days, and ensuring proper irrigation and tree maintenance. Today, Canopy has a systematic way of developing and implementing complex planting programs thanks to the work that Michael has done.

In addition to the planting of more than 3,300 trees and engaging thousands of volunteers and countless partners during his tenure, Michael also oversaw the growth of our education program with over 600 education events. Michael developed our Teen Urban Forester internship program, through which dozens of East Palo Alto high school students have been empowered as leaders and stewards of the urban environment.

Michael has grown tremendously during his years at Canopy. He is an ISA certified arborist with lots of arboriculture experience, an excellent colleague with a great sense of humor, boundless optimism and keen sense for innovation. Another important way he has contributed to Canopy’s growth is by making excellent hires without exception. While we’ll miss Michael, we are thankful for the nearly 10 years that he has contributed to making Canopy the strong and successful organization that it is today.


Arnold Soforenko Awardees

Lauren Bonar Swezey, Facebook Sustainability Team, for being a long time champion of trees and nature in our urban environment and for providing support for Canopy’s tree planting and education programs.

There are many reasons why Lauren deserves this award! Lauren has held pretty much every volunteer position at Canopy. Starting in 1998, when she was still working at Sunset magazine, Lauren joined our Board of Advisors. She also became a Tree Ambassador and a Tree Planting Leader, and regularly participated in the Young Tree Care Survey. Over the many years of our partnership with Lauren, her support of Canopy and the urban forest has continued to grow. 

When in 2010 she became Facebook’s Facilities Sustainability Lead, she started overseeing an impressive portfolio of sustainability projects including energy conservation, recycling, and sustainable design of new buildings. In particular, she’s played a crucial role in the design of the rooftop parks on the two Facebook Gehri buildings in Menlo Park. Combined, they add up to form a 14 acre park, with 550 trees, many natives, which is a model of innovative integration of nature and development. Because Lauren brings her lifelong passion for nature, horticulture, trees and highest LEED standards to the service of one of the world’s most influential companies, her impact is very significant. 

Lauren is also in charge of Facebook’s Community Outreach. Her team regularly forges partnerships with local environmental groups and supports their work. Lauren has spearheaded several Canopy tree plantings at Belle Haven Elementary and other schools in the Ravenswood City School District. And a couple months ago, thanks to her persistence, with the help of her team, and generous Facebook funding, we were able to transform Chilco street with beautiful native oaks.


Judy Schwarz, for sharing the benefits of landscaping with native plants in her daily work at Summer Winds Nursery.

Judy is on the front lines of the movement to green our neighborhoods through planting trees and mostly native landscaping. Every day you can find Judy at Summer Winds talking with local residents about the benefits of using native plants and convincing them to use these plants to landscape their homes. She is a native plant fanatic in the best possible way. Her love of habitat and natural beauty are infectious, and her knowledge of local plants is boundless.



Out on a Limb Awardees

Aaron Rudolf, for years of service to Canopy as the Digital Outreach and Special Projects Intern.

In the fall of 2017 Aaron began working as Canopy’s volunteer Digital Outreach Intern. Since then, he has volunteered over 500 hours. Aaron oversees our presence on Twitter, and faithfully arrives every Monday afternoon ready for whatever project is ready for him. Lately Aaron has overseen a project to update all of Canopy’s tree walks. Before that he helped us research what tablets to buy, organized before and after photos tree planting photos, answers many tech related questions, and has entered countless attendance sheets into our volunteer database.

In addition to these projects Aaron has also been involved at Canopy in other capacities, pruning, planting, surveying, and photographing trees and people working on trees. Aaron is a wonderful presence around the office, often bringing baked goods and serving the staff home-brewed tea. As if all of this wasn’t enough, Aaron’s employer, Microsoft, has matched all of his volunteer hours. So not only has Canopy received all of Aaron’s work at no charge, we have received thousands of dollars for it as well. Thank you Aaron for all of your hard work!


Christine Baker, for her love of California’s native oaks and commitment to Canopy’s Great Oak Count.

If you are ever looking for Christine, start by finding the nearest oak tree. It’s not uncommon to stumble across Christine gazing up at the canopy of a coast live oak, peering into the furrowed bark of a valley oak in search of critters, or showing up at a Canopy event with the leaf of an oak she hasn’t yet identified. Christine loves oaks. We are exceedingly lucky for this, because in the last two years Christine has committed herself to Canopy’s Great Oak Count. She has walked many Palo Alto streets on the hunt for coast live oaks, valley oaks, blue oaks, and California black oaks. Sometimes solo, and oftentimes leading small groups of fellow citizen scientists,

An enthusiastic naturalist, Christine trained her peers to identify native oaks at our most recent survey leader training for the Great Oak Count. She brought in samples of leaves and acorns and shared interesting tidbits about their history and ecology. More recently, Christine has led middle and high school students in this important survey work at both Cubberley Community Center and Terman Park. We know she is just beginning and will be dedicated to this project until the last oak in Palo Alto is surveyed. For sharing her passion and time, and for her endless support of Canopy’s work, we express our deepest thanks to Christine.


Esther, Noelle, and Liselle Yoo, for their commitment as a family to growing and advocating for Palo Alto’s urban forest.

Esther Yoo and her daughters Noelle and Liselle have become one of Canopy’s most dedicated family of volunteers. They always arrive to Canopy plantings ready to work with smiles on their faces, and they usually have a few friends in tow! As a family, they share a passion for trees and community that is encouraging and inspiring. Esther helps to spread the word about Canopy to her local school and community groups and often brings new family volunteers to Canopy plantings. She is engaged and provides feedback that helps Canopy’s volunteer experience grow in a positive way. Liselle and Noelle are young and enthusiastic volunteers that Canopy loves to have as part of our community. To see a new generation of tree champions making change in their community is exciting and motivating for Canopy staff and volunteers. We’d like to thank Esther, Liselle, and Noelle for all their hard work!


Young Forester Awards

Jada Riley planting treesJada Riley, for her three years of dedication to the Teen Urban Forester program.

Jada has been a cornerstone of the Teen Urban Forester (TUF) program for the past three years. It has been a pleasure to watch her knowledge and love of the urban forest grow over time. Jada started working at Canopy during her sophomore year and quickly established herself as a leader among other Teen Urban Foresters. Now in her senior year, she has taken on even more leadership roles within the program including training her peers, speaking at Canopy’s public events, and going above and beyond at plantings. She has consistently been a role model for her fellow TUFs and volunteers alike, and her positive attitude and ability to facilitate large groups of people allow her to collaborate and work well with anyone. We thank her for all of her hard work, and wish her the best of luck for what’s next.


Julisa Lopez surveying treesJulisa Lopez, for outstanding commitment to Canopy’s citizen science programs, and leadership as our longest serving Tree Survey Intern.

For the last year and a half Julisa has steadily worked to build Canopy’s tree surveys into sustainable programs for years to come. Julisa is a unique intern in many ways, as our longest serving and youngest Tree Survey Intern. When she started, the plan was to focus on the Young Tree Care Survey, which we do every summer in Palo Alto. But that summer we debuted Tree Plotter, which was our new cloud-based tree map that we were going to use to collect data. This was no walk in the park, but Julisa took on the challenge and showed great dedication to work that would shake up the program in significant ways – for the better!

She excelled with all aspects of leading the YTCS, and we are thankful she stayed with us beyond that summer to shift attention to The Great Oak Count. She spent months on incredibly focused computer time, preparing Tree Plotter for the benefit of volunteer experience and data quality, and was a constant help as a versatile and eager team member. Julisa is a model of what it looks like to be an enthusiastic environmental steward, and will no doubt continue to be a leader when she graduates from San Francisco State University in 2021.

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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