Trees in Fairfax County are constantly in danger from strangling vines, development, pollution, and a lack of basic tree maintenance. Fortunately, there are people in the county who've undertaken this work with a passion and effort to support tree regeneration, ensure it, and raise the standard of tree coverage.
On Jan. 5, the Fairfax County Tree Commission recognized twelve winners of the 2022 Friends of Trees awards during a ceremony at the commission’s virtual meeting. Cindy Speas, chair of the Tree Commission,
praised the winners for exemplifying the local residents' passion for trees. "The winning projects are perfect examples of what all of us — individuals, government agencies, groups, and businesses — can do together to save trees and improve our green spaces.”
The winners fulfilled one or more of the following criteria: protecting and preserving existing trees and their associated habitats; increasing Fairfax County's tree canopy and their associated habitats; educating and inspiring people to plant more trees and take care of them properly; going above and beyond Fairfax County's requirements for developers to either protect or preserve trees and their associated habitats; and educating and inspiring people to plant more trees and take care of them properly.
"You all have shared a passion with me for not only trees, of course, but for the environment of Fairfax County and how we can make a difference," said Supervisor Dan Storck (D-Mount Vernon).
Margaret Fisher and Heidi Allen from the Plant Nova Trees "Tree Rescuers" program
Cathy Ledec, Friends of Huntley Meadows Park, former Tree Commissioner, Northern Virginia Audubon Society, and Mount Vernon District Environmental Committee
Great Falls Citizens Association
Loft Ridge Homeowners Association
Megan McCullough and Dan Malone of Stantec Consulting for Hollin Hills Stream restoration
Fairfax County Public Schools and Fairfax County’s Urban Forest Management Division for joint projects at Fort Hunt Elementary School, Greenbriar West Elementary School, Irving Middle School, together with Girl Scout Troop #5532, Justice High School and Whitman Middle School.
The Board of Supervisors relies on the 15-member Commission for advice and support regarding urban forest conservation and preservation. Despite urbanization, tree canopy covers more than 50 percent of Fairfax County. The Commission is composed of a representative from each of the magisterial districts plus one At Large member and a representative of the Fairfax County Environmental Quality Advisory Council, Soil and Water Conservation District, Virginia Department of Forestry, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Fairfax County Park Authority and Fairfax County Urban Forest Management Division.