Dr. Gerard T. Donnelly, President and CEO of The Morton Arboretum, has received the J. Sterling Morton Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Arbor Day Foundation. The award recognizes an individual for positive impact on the environment due to lifelong commitment to tree-planting and conservation at national and international levels.
J. Sterling Morton started Arbor Day as a tree-planting holiday in Nebraska in 1872, and the Arbor Day Foundation was formed 100 years later to carry on his work. His son Joy Morton, founder of the Morton Salt Company in Chicago, established The Morton Arboretum in Lisle in 1922, building upon the legacy expressed through the family motto, “Plant Trees.”
Through Gerry’s leadership since 1990, The Morton Arboretum works to inspire participation in the tree-planting mission begun by its namesake family. These efforts include partnerships such as the Chicago Region Trees Initiative.