*Editors note: To read more about Tammy Kovar, click here
Tammy Kovar is saving trees one mile at a time.
Kovar, an ELYSIAN Inspiring Woman and our new Horticulture and Landscape subject-matter expert, was one of 77 riders this month in the annual Tour des Trees – a six-day, 440-mile bike tour that this year stretches from Des Moines, Iowa, to Nebraska City, Nebraska. On Day 1, she completed 32 miles in less than four hours.
Kovar has a long history of turning her energy into action.
In the late 1980s, while a graduate student in Oregon, she began volunteering with the Soil Conservation Corps. She is a biologist, an arborist and an environmentalist, and has spent her career caring for the earth and what grows out of it.
In 2004, Kovar began building her sustainable landscaping company, Biological Tree Services, from the ground up in Sarasota, Florida. Today, the business has highly specialized clientele all over the world, tackling lighting, draining, irrigation and turf, and all things in between. “We save plants and trees that others have given up on,” she once told ELYSIAN.
The Tour des Trees is just one of the latest ways Kovar has turned her passion into something actionable. The tour is the main public outreach and community engagement event held each year for the Tree Research and Education Endowment Fund, or the TREE Fund.
Since its inception 20 years ago, the TREE Fund has awarded more than $5.1 million in grants for research and education – identifying and funding programs that support science-based care and the enhancement and sustainability of urban forests.
This is a long way from the “tree hugging” of the ’60s. The TREE Fund is dedicated to improving tree growth and survival, stopping disease and pests while reducing the use of pesticide, improving public and workforce safety, calculating the economic and environmental benefit of trees for governments and businesses, and connecting young people with nature.
A healthy environment enhances all of our lives – the beauty of nature can offer us a chance to reflect and recharge; it also contributes to the livability of our communities.
Perhaps what’s most inspiring about Kovar’s latest journey is that she is showing her commitment to a sustainable environment rather than just talking about it.
Once, a forester in Maine told her, “There’s really this sense that I feel that the trees are safe with you.”
Living your passion is something everyone aspires to. We hope you will enjoy future Home and Garden ELYSIAN newsletters, in which Kovar will share that passion with all of us – so we can approach our own environments with the same level of care and sense of protection.