Skip to main content

Cedar Tree Foundation


Last Updated: 2016-05-10

At A Glance

Cedar Tree Foundation

(formerly David H. Smith Foundation)

100 Franklin St., Ste. 704

Boston, MA United States 02110-1401

Telephone: (617) 695-6767


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2014-12-31)

Assets: $101,943,478

Total giving: $4,520,107





Additional Contact Information

E-mail for letters of inquiry:


Established in 1994 in DE - Dr. Smith earned his medical degree from the University of Rochester in 1958 and received a three-year postdoctoral fellowship from Harvard Medical School. In 1976, Dr. Smith returned to his alma mater, the University of Rochester, where he chaired the pediatrics department. While at the University of Rochester, Dr. Smith, along with his colleague Dr. Porter Anderson, created a vaccine for the bacteria that caused spinal meningitis. Pharmaceutical companies were not interested in the Drs.' proposal of bringing their vaccine to the market. So, in April of 1983, Dr. Smith left his position as chair of the pediatrics department and founded his own Biotech company, Praxis Biologics. He was able to bring his vaccine to the market, and within ten years the number of cases of spinal meningitis plummeted from 20,000 in 1987 to 81 in 1997. In 1996, Dr. Smith was awarded both the Lasker Prize and the Pasteur Award from the World Health Organization. Later, he sold Praxis Biologics and moved to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts where he turned his attention to conservation work. In recognition of his work for conservation science on the Vineyard, The Nature Conservancy selected Dr. Smith as the recipient of the 1997 Conservation Achievement Award. In addition, he was presented with the Governor's Award for Open Space Preservation in Massachusetts in 1998

Purpose and Activities

The foundation focuses on the following areas of concern: sustainable agriculture, environmental education, and environmental health. The foundation will give particular consideration to proposals demonstrating strong elements of environmental justice, and conservation.

Program Area(s)

The grantmaker has identified the following area(s) of interest:

David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship Program

This post-doctoral fellowship program identifies and supports early-career scientists who will shape the field of applied conservation biology. The fellowships are available to post-doctoral researchers (of any nationality) affiliated with a United States institution. The purpose of the fellowship is: To create opportunities for leading conservation biologists to strengthen their skills through two years of applied post-doctoral research, supplemented by training programs, peer networking, and field learning experiences; so that they may: 1. Build productive partnerships with conservation practitioners; and 2. Contribute and communicate scientific knowledge to problems of critical importance in conservation.To be eligible individuals must have completed their doctorate within the past five years or by the time the award is made.The program is administered by the Society For Conservation Biology.See web site for detailed program information and application materials.

Program-Related Investment

The foundation has made a PRI, in the form of a loan, to an organization that works to protect farmland, support farmers, and advance farming.

Fields of Interest

  • Agriculture
  • Environment
  • Environmental health
  • Environmental justice
  • Environmental studies
  • Health
  • Public health
Population Groups
  • Adolescents
  • Children and youth
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Ethnic and racial groups
  • Low-income and poor people

Financial Data

Year ended 2014-12-31

Assets: $101,943,478 (market value)

Gifts received: $4,892,117

Expenditures: $6,799,332

Total giving: $4,520,107

Qualifying distributions: $5,378,255