The Arbor Day Foundation recently recognized Gabriela E. Lopez of Million Trees Miami with its Trailblazer Award.
The award recognizes an individual under the age of 35 who has demonstrated leadership in forestry, community forestry, research or tree care during the past five years.
As the community image manager for Miami-Dade County’s Neat Streets Miami, Lopez manages the board’s Million Trees Miami initiative created to achieve a 30 percent tree canopy cover for the county. Under her leadership, Neat Streets Miami has planted more than 9,500 trees and given away 6,225 free trees since 2017. Previously, the initiative was planting fewer than 100 trees each year.
“Gaby has done tremendous work promoting tree planting, not only as a means of expanding Miami’s urban forest, but also as a tool for community engagement,” said Dan Lambe, president, Arbor Day Foundation. “We are thrilled to recognize Gaby for her leadership in building a greener, healthier, and more vibrant city.”
Lopez is the manager of Neat Streets Miami, a multi-jurisdictional board dedicated to the creation and maintenance of safe, beautiful and green spaces for the residents of Miami-Dade County. Through initiatives such as Million Trees Miami; Keep Miami-Dade County Beautiful, and Safer People, Safer Streets, Neat Streets Miami creates welcoming, inviting communities.
Prior to this position, she served Miami-Dade County as director of Policy and Legislatives Affairs to Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. Lopez is a graduate of Florida State University.
Since 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has recognized the inspiring and life-changing work of leading environmental stewards and tree planters through the annual Arbor Day Awards.
Award winners from previous years include the late Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, the United States Forest Service and Procter & Gamble.
This award winner is one of five being honored during September for their outstanding contribution to tree planting, conservation and stewardship. More information can be found at arborday.org/awards.