Ten builders and developers who made tree preservation a priority in the design, production, development, and marketing of their new communities were honored in August with 2003 Building With Trees Awards of Excellence by The National Arbor Day Foundation, Firewise Communities, and the NAHB. This is the fifth year that builders and developers have been recognized through the program.

"The 10 builders and developers who have earned 2003 Building With Trees Awards of Excellence did so by utilizing environmentally friendly building techniques in their communities in ways that complement their natural surroundings," says NAHB executive vice president and CEO Jerry Howard. "These award winners are at the forefront of a green building movement that can help home builders do something good for the environment by emphasizing tree preservation, increase their communities' marketability, build homes with higher property values, and in some cases reduce overhead costs."

To be eligible for recognition in the Building With Trees program, builders and developers must include a tree expert on their development team, communicate tree-preservation goals to all workers, inventory existing trees prior to construction and use that information to plan the site, plan for long-term tree care, and adhere to all tree protection goals during construction.

Among the 2003 winners:

  • The Eagles Club at Quail Hollow, located in Concord Township, Ohio, and developed by Pulte Homes of Ohio, was recognized in the residential development category of 101 to 500 lots. The developers and arborists working on the community placed homes carefully on each lot to preserve the maximum number of trees. Home buyers received a booklet explaining how developers saved trees and strategic building techniques used within the community.

  • FishHawk Ranch, developed by Newland Communities, in Lithia, Fla., earned recognition in the 501 or more lots category for enlisting the tree expertise of Systemics Inc. to preserve and transplant trees. In addition to preserving existing trees, landscapers used native plants on the site, which reduces water needs.

  • Bailey's Grove, a mixed-use community by Eastbrook Homes, in Kentwood, Mich., was recognized in the mixed-use residential development category. With the help of David Jensen Associates, this community reduced the impact of construction on the surrounding trees and the natural environment with narrow streets, clusters of buildings, and cul-de-sacs with center islands.