Wayne Miles, Pastor, Blades, Delaware

A Removed Tree Goes on Serving

portrait-Wayne-Miles[1]For years, Pastor Wayne Miles worried about a large street tree next to his Baptist church. The tree was buckling the sidewalk creating a tripping hazard and its roots threatened the building’s foundation.

It wasn’t until a city official suggested he contact Mandy Tolino that something was done about the problem. Mandy was Wilmington’s newly hired urban forestry administrator, a position funded with start-up money from the U.S. Forest Service. Within a week, Mandy arranged to have the tree removed, the roots ground up, the sidewalk repaired and a new tree planted.

Pastor Miles saw another benefit from the experience. “They cut up the wood,” he says. “The nice part about that was that a man who had just been let go from his job asked us for the wood. He had a small child and winter was coming on.”

“Maybe this tree had a purpose,” reflects Pastor Miles. “When there is a conscientious-minded administration and sincere people like Mandy, then they can blend that together where man can coexist in terms of what God has provided us in nature.”

Pastor Miles sees the old tree as “there for a blessing.” He also reports that his congregation is delighted with the new tree and it will be there providing even more benefits for many generations.

Check out our other Faces of Urban Forestry.

Two fall Tree Campus USA events down, three left to go

Earlier this month, the Foundation was in Boulder, where students and staff at the University of Colorado experienced the challenges and opportunities of urban forestry first-hand, planting 40 laurel oaks along the interface between the campus and a major city thoroughfare.

On Monday, we were in the Valley Glen neighborhood of the San Fernando Valley to plant trees at Los Angeles Valley College, the first community college and first Southern California institution to participate in the Tree Campus USA program.

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, or AASHE, helped with the event, which resulted in 30 new trees on the north mall of the urban campus.

The Foundation will be in Dover, Delaware, for a tree planting at Delaware State University on Tuesday, October 30. LaSalle University in Philadelphia will plant trees on November 1, and Georgia State University in Atlanta will hold their event November 10.

These events are terrific way for current or future Tree Campus USA participants to step up their commitment to conservation and give service-minded students a chance to roll up their sleeves and do something positive for the campus community. We appreciate having Toyota as a continued partner in our effort to grow the next generation of environmental stewards.

We hope, too, that these events will inspire even more colleges and universities to take the steps needed to qualify for Tree Campus USA as we begin accepting applications for 2012.

Information on First-year applications and recertifications is available here.

We put this video about the University of Pennsylvania together after an event there in 2010.

Mid-Atlantic states take care of their urban trees

(Ed. Note: 24 states celebrate Arbor Day on the last Friday in April, the same date as National Arbor Day, which this year falls on the 27th. During the next few days, we’ll be highlighting what a variety of regions are doing to prepare for the tree-planting holiday. Yesterday, we featured New England; today we feature the Mid-Atlantic; Wednesday the West; Thursday the Midwest; and Friday the Great Plains.)

Four Mid-Atlantic States – Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia – and the District of Columbia celebrate Arbor Day this Friday.

District of Columbia

This Arbor Day the District of Columbia will finish commemorating the 100 year anniversary of receiving 3,000 cherry blossom trees from the mayor of Tokyo, symbolizing the friendship between the United States and Japan.  You can vote for America’s Favorite Cherry Tree here and the winner will be announced on Friday, April 27, Arbor Day 2012.

Over the last year, Arbor Day Foundation members have helped plant more than 15,001 trees in the DC area. If you’re interested in Arbor Day activities or tree planting volunteer opportunities in your area, please visit the arbordaynow.org Volunteer Center.

The District of Columbia is a Tree City USA community, home to 601,723 residents.


The Delaware Forest Service hosted the 2012 Arbor Day Poster Contest for Delaware students (K-5th). This year’s theme — Trees are Terrific…From Acorn to Oak! was designed to increase knowledge about the importance and diversity of the oak tree as well as to introduce students to the process of the life cycle of a tree. A state winner will be selected to represent Delaware as it celebrates Arbor Day 2012.

Arbor Day Foundation members from Delaware have helped plant more than 37,238 trees across the state last year.  There are also several environmental volunteering opportunities throughout Delaware if you visit the arbordaynow.org Volunteer Center.

The State of Delaware is currently home to 15 Tree City USA communities. The largest Tree City USA in Delaware is Wilmington, population 72,664; the smallest is Ardentown, population 300.

New York

The New York State Arbor Day Committee celebrates Arbor Day by encouraging New Yorkers of all ages to consider ways to preserve natural resources and to recognize the importance of trees and the impact they make in our everyday lives. New York is another state that holds a poster contest in hopes of promoting a healthy, balanced ecosystem to younger generations.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation offers some great tree-related activities, games and programs to help communities celebrate Arbor Day, you can check them out here.

Arbor Day Foundation members from New York have helped plant more than 396,698 trees across the state last year.

The State of New York is currently home to 104 Tree City USA communities. The largest Tree City USA in New York is New York City, population 8,392,000; the smallest is Ellicottville, population 500.

New York City is the largest Tree City USA in the country.

New Jersey

Haddon Township has been selected to host the State of New Jersey’s annual celebration of Arbor Day this year on Friday, April 27th. Approximately 600 volunteers from all over New Jersey will be planting 125 trees provided by the state along with numerous state officials in attendance for the ceremony.  All volunteers — from novices to expert tree planters — are welcome.

Last year, the New Jersey Tree Foundation was awarded an Excellence in Urban Forest Leadership Award from the Arbor Day Foundation in recognition of its success at bringing new life to tough neighborhoods through tree planting.

Arbor Day Foundation members from New Jersey have helped plant more than 115,726 trees across the state over the last year.

The State of New Jersey is currently home to 172 Tree City USA communities. The largest Tree City USA in New Jersey is Monmouth County, population 664,916; the smallest is Naval Weapons Station Earle population 600.


For over 10 years, Virginia’s Clean Fairfax Council and The County of Fairfax have organized Earth Day/Arbor Day events.  The 2012 agenda includes a Community Service Stream Clean Up, Urban Forestry Workshops, Arbor Day Tree Planting, Environmental Education and Games for Kids and more.  If you would like to volunteer for this event, you can find more information here.

Arbor Day Foundation members from Virginia have helped plant more than 213,586 trees across the state over the last year. If you’re interested in Arbor Day activities or tree planting volunteer opportunities in your area, you can visit the arbordaynow.org Volunteer Center.

The State of Virginia is currently home to 56 Tree City USA communities. The largest Tree City USA in Virginia is Fairfax County, population 1,059,211; the smallest is Surface Combat Systems Center, population 493.