U-Haul Wins Top Environmental Award for Forest Project in Prescott

U-Haul was honored for its local environmental efforts with the coveted Crescordia award on Oct. 6 at the 38th annual Arizona Forward Environmental Excellence Awards at Westin Keirland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale.

U-Haul won for its commitment to the Upper Granite Creek Aspen Restoration Project in the Prescott area.

The Crescordia, from the Greek term meaning “to grow in harmony,” is the highest honor Arizona Forward bestows. It went to U-Haul, a Phoenix-headquartered company since 1967, in the “Healthy Communities – Parks and Trails” category.

Improving Prescott National Forest

U-Haul, thanks to its customers’ support of green initiatives through their point-of-sale contributions to The Conservation Fund, designated a portion of the contributions in 2017-18 to the National Forest Foundation’s efforts in northern Arizona to support aspen restoration in the Prescott National Forest. As a result, this project restored two aspen stands totaling 150 acres.

Aspen stands are increasingly rare and an important habitat in Prescott. The project used hand-thinning treatments to remove ponderosa pine in and around the aspen stands to reduce catastrophic fire risk. By rehabilitating trails and repairing drainage features, the project also enhanced the visitor experience.

“Being headquartered in Phoenix for 50 years, U-Haul was thrilled to support such a critical restoration project in our own backyard,” said Michelle Sullivan, U-Haul Corporate Sustainability manager. “We are grateful to our customers, The Conservation Fund and the National Forest Foundation’s Northern Arizona Forest Fund for their support and efforts in making this project a success.”

Bednarz: Sustainability Champion Finalist

Alexia Bednarz, U-Haul Corporate Sustainability community advocate, was also one of four “Sustainability Champion” finalists. Former Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton won in that category.

“I’m deeply grateful to work for such a supportive company and team at U-Haul,” Bednarz said. “I believe being a champion for sustainability has happened rather intrinsically, based on my love for our community and planet. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”

Finally, this marks the third Crescordia for U-Haul, which won for “Environmental Excellence – Buildings and Structures” in 2011 and “Environmental Education and Communication – Private Sector” in 2012. Arizona Forward has presented U-Haul with the Award of Merit three times.

U-Haul and The Conservation Fund have partnered since 2007 to raise money and awareness to address climate change by planting trees. Nearly 2 million U-Haul customers have contributed $6 million to plant more than 750,000 trees; protect responsibly-managed working forests; and also build greenspace in underserved communities through The Conservation Fund’s Parks with Purpose.

Featured photo: Credit to Northern Arizona Forest Fund

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