Joseph Ziskovsky of Shoreview, Minnesota, was 12-years-old when he became concerned about the dangers of pollution. He read that one of the ways to fight the problem was to plant trees, and decided to take action. Joseph obtained nearly 3500 trees, donated by nursery owners, some as far away as Pennsylvania. The middle school student was able to persuade the National Arbor Day Foundation to provide educational brochures on the importance of trees in a healthy environment. Working with area organizations, Joseph mobilized the distribution of the trees and educational material to three public elementary schools in the city of Shoreview.
In addition to helping his community better the environment, Joseph was involved with organizations in service related programs, as well as participating in food and clothing drives. Joseph was also among the .03% Boy Scouts his age to be an Eagle Scout. His dedication and commitment to service lead to Joseph being named the 91st Daily Point of Light in 1990.
In 2015, Joseph wrote President George H.W. Bush a letter for his 91st birthday, reflecting on the significance the Daily Point of Light Award had in his life. “Your principles of unselfish service to others and community involvement have lasted the test of time,” Joseph wrote. “They are among the many things that I know you are proud of in your legacy. I know I find methods and ways to give to my community to this day, driven by the sense of pride your selection of me created.”