By Nicholas Kokales, Springfield Representative
Fairfax County Tree Commission
What would you call someone who simultaneously provides habitat for wildlife, reduces and filters stormwater runoff, traps carbon dioxide and produces oxygen, reduces noise pollution, reduces energy costs, and enhances human health by merely living twenty four hours a day, seven days a week? Gifted? Genius? Superhuman? How about a tree!
You may not see a Red Cedar singing on American Idol or a Sycamore kicking a 55-yard field goal at FedEx field, but trees provide a multitude of must-have ecological services each and every day. Now in Fairfax County they can receive “celebrity” status.
The Fairfax County Tree Commission officially launched the Celebrated Trees of Fairfax County program on Saturday, April 25 of this yearin conjunction with Arbor Day and Earth Day. The program is on-going throughout the year and encourages citizens to nominate a tree in one of four categories:
- Big – A tree that is large for its species
- Historic – A tree associated with a historic event, person, landmark or institution
- Commemorative – A tree or group of trees planted as a memorial of an event or person
- Favorite – A tree with special significance to a person or group
Nomination criteria and forms are available at the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services Celebrated Trees page. Nomination forms can be filled out and submitted electronically to email@example.com, or printed and mailed with additional documents to the address listed on the Celebrated Trees page.
Eligible trees receive an honorary designation as a Celebrated Tree of Fairfax County and will be included (with photos) in a database on the County’s website. As a future project, the Tree Commission plans to produce a book that will include pictures and narratives of each Celebrated Tree.
Trees help humans in so many ways, and indeed help to make our lives possible. The Celebrated Trees program is a way to recognize and raise awareness of all they do for us. Do you have a celebrity living in your neighborhood?