Dominion's Project Plant It! is the recipient of a 2012 Arbor Day Award in honor of the program's outstanding contribution to tree planting, conservation and stewardship, the Arbor Day Foundation has announced.

Project Plant It, a program developed by Dominion, one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, is one of 16 individuals and organizations being recognized by the Foundation at the annual Arbor Day Awards. The ceremony will be held at Lied Lodge & Conference Center, located at Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City, Nebraska, on Saturday, April 28.

Project Plant It will receive the Public Awareness of Trees Award in recognition of its successes in elevating the public's understanding of the importance of trees.

Dominion launched Project Plant It in 2007 to raise student awareness about the importance of caring for and planting trees. Since that time, the program has distributed more than 130,000 tree seedlings to elementary school students in nine states. Dominion's partner in the program, the Virginia Department of Forestry, estimates that 325 acres of new forestland will be added if all the seedlings are planted and grow to maturity. Project Plant It has received high-profile media coverage across several states, actively used social media and annually selects a third-grade program participant to become spokesperson.

"With its aggressive media campaign and commitment to spark a love for trees among children, Project Plant It has done a fine job spreading the spirit of conservation," said John Rosenow, founder and chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation.

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, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, veteran newsman Bill Kurtis, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Mary Kay, Inc. This year, in addition to honoring Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley with a Vision Award, A Legacy of Partnership Award will be presented to the United States Forest Service.