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CNYC Receives Property Gift for Utica Office, Education Center

CNY-Conservancy-Logo

New Parks HQ with Cucumber Magnolia

If you’ve ever visited Utica (perhaps for a past ReLeaf conference), you know what a treasure the City’s Olmsted-designed Parks and Parkway System is. The Central New York Conservancy has preserved and restored the Parks and Parkway System, listed in the State and National Registers of Historic Places, since 2002.

After 15 years, the nonprofit organization is establishing its first-ever office, and in the most ideal location, in Utica. Thanks to a generous donation of property by the family of the late Albert Shaheen, M.D., the Conservancy has begun renovations to its new office located at 1641 Genesee Street.

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“Trees for Bees” is Theme for 2018 Fifth Grader Arbor Day Poster Contest

Arbor Day Poster contestants 2015

The theme for the NYSDEC 2018 5th Grade Arbor Day Poster Contest is “Trees for Bees.” 5th graders are invited to submit original artwork incorporating this theme to help celebrate Arbor Day. Please review contest rules before submitting (they are also below).

The poster competition begins at the local elementary school level. Each school’s winning entry is then entered into a regional judging event. Nine regional champions are chosen and from these a final, statewide winner is selected who will be invited to celebrate at the State capitol in Albany and have a tree planted in their name at their school. Various other prizes are awarded to the statewide winner and their school. The New York State winner also receives the honor of having their artwork replicated as the NYS Arbor Day bookmark, which is distributed to schools and libraries all over the State. Approximately 2,000 students from around the State participate each year.

By participating in the annual Arbor Day poster contest, students learn about the importance of trees and how they affect the health and well being of our environment and the quality of life in our communities.

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Update on Status of Federal UCF Funding for 2018

Call Now (2) Thanks to Danielle Watson, Assistant Director of Government Affairs & External Relations for the Society of American Foresters, for this legislative update (8/31/17) on the federal Urban and Community Forestry budget for FY 2018. In his budget proposal, the President had zeroed out funding for UCF. There’s good news in this update, but we are not out of the woods yet. Please be in regular communication with your members of Congress as per Danielle’s recommendation below.  

Danielle Watson: The House Interior Appropriations bill had near-level funding for Urban and Community Forestry. The Senate bill hasn’t been released yet.

The message now is for folks to contact their Senators and Representatives to tell them to “support FY17 levels for Urban & Community Forestry” or “support level funding for Urban & Community Forestry” as the appropriation bills will eventually be making their way to full votes on the House and Senate floors, or at least be negotiated at some point before the end of the year.

There’s likely to be a short-term agreement when Congress comes back in order to extend their current deadline of Sept 30 to pass a spending bill. Then they’ll fight it out at the end of the year and either pass another continuing resolution (would continue current funding levels) or an omnibus appropriations bill, which would have new spending numbers based on priorities.

 

 

 

 

 

Ashleigh Pettus and Trees New York’s Young Urban Forester Internship

Young urban forester interns Trees New York
Some of the 2017 Young Urban Forester Interns, with program coordinator Ashleigh Pettus at far left.

Ashleigh Pettus is the Operations Manager & Environmental Educator for Trees New York. She coordinates the organization’s summer Young Urban Forester Internship, which began in 2008.  

Can you tell us about your educational background and how you came to Trees New York?
Ashleigh Pettus: I graduated from Lehman College in 2016 with a BA in History and Minor in Childhood Education. I spent my winter and spring breaks volunteering; one of my most memorable spring breaks is when we traveled to Perryville, Arkansas to spend a week at Heifer International. There, I learned about rural farming and sustainability; I loved it so much, I went back and spent three months there.

When I came back to NYC, I wanted to share my knowledge but it had to be adapted to an urban setting. I found Just Food and taught some of their Farm School NYC classes. Soon after that I worked at Wave Hill in the Bronx, where I started to learn tree identification, fell in love with trees, and realized I wanted to focus my energy there. I was fortunate to be hired by Trees New York in the summer of 2015 to be an environmental educator. Eventually I became the Young Urban Forester Internship program coordinator as well. It’s a pleasure to share the things I’ve learned in this environmental field with my summer interns.

Please tell us about the internship.
AP: Trees New York’s Young Urban Forester Internship is a seven-week, 175-hour urban and community forestry paid experience. The goal of the annual summer program is to introduce up to 16 high school juniors and seniors from low-income households in New York City to careers in the fast-growing field of environmental science and in urban forestry specifically.

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Tree City USA Bulletins in English & (In Some Cases) Spanish

 

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These abridged versions of 88 of the most popular Tree City USA Bulletins are a free, handy reference for the tree enthusiast or professional arborist. They are provided by the Arbor Day Foundation. Click on the bulletin to access and easily print or download a PDF. View the complete collection of Tree City USA Bulletins in the bulletin archive.

    • Bulletin #0  Take Pride in a Greener Community – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #1  How to Prune Young Shade Trees – English PDF | Spanish PDF
    • Bulletin #2  When a Storm Strikes – English PDF | Spanish PDF
    • Bulletin #3  Resolving Tree-Sidewalk Conflicts – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #4  The Right Tree for the Right Place – English PDF | Spanish PDF
    • Bulletin #5  Living with Urban Soil – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #6  How to Hire an Arborist – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #7  How to Save Trees During Construction – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #8  Don’t Top Trees – English PDF | Spanish PDF
    • Bulletin #9  How to Write a Municipal Tree Ordinance – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #10  Plant Trees for America – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #11  How to Prevent Tree/Sign Conflicts – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #12  What City Foresters Do – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #13  Trees for Wildlife – English PDF | Spanish PDF
    • Bulletin #14  How To Kill a Tree – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #15  Tree Risk Assessment — Recognizing & Preventing Hazard Trees – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #16  How to Recycle Shade Tree Materials – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #17  How to Landscape to Save Water – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #18  Tree City USA Growth Award – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #19  How to Select and Plant a Tree – English PDF | Spanish PDF
    • Bulletin #20  A Systematic Approach to Building With Trees – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #21  How Trees Can Save Energy – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #22  Tree City USA Foundation for Better Management – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #23  How to Conduct a Street Inventory – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #24  Trees and Parking Lots – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #25  Tree Line USA – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #26  Understanding Landscape Cultivars – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #27  How to Manage Community Natural Areas – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #28  Placing a Value on Trees – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #29  How to Plan for Management – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #30  10 Tree Myths to Think About – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #31  Trees Protection Ordinances – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #32  Let’s Stop Salt Damage – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #33  How to Interpret Trees – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #34  How to Fund Community Forestry – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #35  How to Protect Trees During Underground Work – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #36  How to Work with Volunteers – Effectively – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #37  PHC — What it Means to You – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #38  The Way Trees Work — How to Help – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #39  Putting Trees to Work – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #40  Trees in the Riparian Zone – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #41  How to Reduce Wildfire Risk – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #42  Working With Children – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #43  Selling Others on Tree Programs – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #44  What Ails Your Tree? – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #45  Trees for Better Streets – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #46  Data to Advocacy — New Tools to Promote Trees – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #47  How to Bring Nature to Your Community – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #48  Teamwork Strengthens Community Forestry – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #49  Trees and the Law – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #50  Tree Campus USA – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #51  Trees and Safety – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #52  Making Good Use of Small Spaces – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #53  What Tree is That — and Why? – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #54  How to Grow a Great Tree Board – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #55  How Trees Can Retain Stormwater Runoff – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #56  Help Stop Insect & Disease Invasions – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #57  Trees and Public Health – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #58  Community Engagement – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #59  Permaculture and the City – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #60  Learning Opportunities in the Urban Forest – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #61  Trees and Green Space Make Economic Sense – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #62  Help Fight Invasive Trees – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #63  Living on the Edge — The Wildland/Urban Interface – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #64  Saving Our Heritage Trees – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #65  Create an Arboretum – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #66  Not Your Father’s Arboriculture – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #67  On-the-Job Training Opportunities – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #68  How Communities Recover from Disasters – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #69  Make Room for Trees – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #70 Embracing Diversity – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #71 The Healing Power of Trees – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #72 Working with Contracts & Contractors – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #73 How to Start an Urban Orchard – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #74 How to Spruce Up Your Arbor Day – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #75  How to Make Trees Storm Resistant – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #76  How to Fight the Emerald Ash Borer – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #77  How to Grow a Better City Tree – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #78  Finding New Friends for Urban Forestry – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #79  Credentials Are Important – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #80  Alliance for Community Trees – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #81  Urban Wood: A Wonderful Resource – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #82  Trees and Water – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #83  Creative Marketing Campaigns – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #84  Understanding Tree Canopy Assessments – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #85  Be a Citizen Naturalist – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #86  Finding Faces of Urban Forestry – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #87  Making a Case for Community Trees – Download PDF
    • Bulletin #88  Using Standards and Best Management Practices – Download PDF

Abigail Mahoney: 2017 NYSDEC Urban Forestry Intern

Abigail at Storm King Maya Linn installation
Abigail at Storm King Art Center, taking in the Maya Lin installation, “Wavefield.”

Please tell us about your internship experience, including anything surprising.  
Abigail Mahoney: I began the Urban and Community Forestry internship at NYSDEC shortly after completing my junior year at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) in the environmental policy, planning, and law program. As someone who is not specifically a forestry student, I had hoped this internship would expose me to new concepts and varying points of view while appealing to my existing interests.

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SUNY ESF Students Reflect on ReLeaf 2017

Sarah Tyo is a Forest Health student at SUNY ESF and Rachel Grumm is a recent grad of SUNY ESF working as an urban forestry aide for Syracuse Parks and Recreation under the direction of Steve Harris. Sarah and Rachel received scholarships from the Council to attend ReLeaf 2017.

Sarah Tyo
SUNY ESF Forest Health student Sarah Tyo

Sarah Tyo
I am very grateful to have been able to attend the 2017 ReLeaf Conference at St. John’s University in Queens. I participated in the Natural Areas Tour that visited Alley Pond Park in Queens. It was the first natural area of the five boroughs that I’d been to, and I couldn’t believe how much plant diversity there was and how many trees were growing there. It had felt like we were transported to a forest in the country, minus the few random sounds of car horns. The City’s efforts in planting native species were apparent as tulip trees, northern red oaks, and other native trees filled the canopy. The tour was also a great way to get our legs moving.

During Friday’s lunch I was able to attend the first-ever ReLeaf Women’s Summit where anyone was welcome to sit and talk about being a woman in a male-dominated career field. It was a great way to meet other women who are established as professionals in urban forestry and hear about their experiences.

I attended the Saturday morning Forest Health and Research Update panel for the forests in NYC and Long Island. I have a personal interest in tree pests and pathogens, so I thought the panel was very informative and eye opening! A DEC Forest Health specialist went through the major threats facing our forests such as oak wilt, Asian longhorned beetle, hemlock woolly adelgid, and many more! In New York we currently have a good number of pests feeding on our trees that we all need to be aware of and address.

These experiences, along with other panels and activities at this year’s ReLeaf Conference, made it an event that I will not forget. A big thank you to everyone who helped put this conference together and came to present! I thoroughly enjoyed my first conference and I am looking forward to next year’s. I hope to see you all there.

Rachel Grumm and Colby
Rachel Grumm and Colby

Rachel Grumm
The conference was an amazing experience and I was honored to be given the opportunity to be a part of it. This experience was exactly what I needed as I’m working to set up my career path. I’ve really enjoyed the work I’ve done so far as part of my introduction to the urban forestry field and this event solidified the fact that this field is where my career is going. What excites me the most about urban forestry is that it’s such a diverse field aimed at bettering the surrounding environment and community.

My favorite part of the conference was the workshops. All the speakers were inspiring, fascinating, and positive. The workshop that stood out the most to me was “Post-Sandy Lessons Learned.” I liked how all three speakers took the storm as a way to learn more—and adapt. I participated in the Alley Pond Tour; in the past, I would pass Alley Pond on my way upstate but never before had the chance to visit. This natural area stunned me—I didn’t think this would exist in New York City!

I would like to thank the Council for providing funding for me to attend ReLeaf. I learned a lot, and it was an event I’ll always remember.

Meet the NYC Natural Areas Conservancy 2017 Summer Field Interns

NAC summer interns 2017

NYC’s Natural Areas Conservancy welcomed nine summer field interns from the City University of New York (CUNY). Over the course of eight weeks, the CUNY teams are studying NYC’s ecological health in 12 parks in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens.

Led by Conservancy ecologists, the students are collecting data on plants and soil to help direct improvement of natural areas citywide. You can watch their progress and learn more about their findings by following The Natural Areas Conservancy on social media. The Conservancy thanks the Leon Levy Foundation, Lise Strickler, and Mark Gallogly for supporting this program.

Meet the interns:  

Photo taken at Marine Park, Brooklyn

Front row: Irina Arias (environmental engineering); Uziel Crescenzi (landscape architecture); Kenia Pittman (landscape architecture); Brian Stonaker (biology); Merna Youssef (physics and mathematics); Stephanie Cando (biology).

Back row: Renee Montelbano (urban sustainability); Rafael Arias (environmental engineering); Harmanveer Singh (environmental science and urban studies).

Updated Guide to Shrubs for Stormwater Retention

Woody Shrubs for Stormwater Retention udpated

Cornell’s Urban Horticulture Institute (UHI) has released the second edition of its Woody Shrubs for Stormwater Retention Practices (Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Regions). The updated and expanded 57-page guide is an essential resource for choosing plants that can provide low-maintenance, attractive cover for filter strips, swales, rain gardens, and other stormwater retention and infiltration practices.

“For plants to thrive in stormwater retention areas, they need to be able to tolerate both dry and periodically saturated soils,” says UHI Director Nina Bassuk, professor in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science. “These can be tough sites with high pH and salt levels, so it’s important to choose the right plants for the job.”

In addition to profiling more than 35 shrubs—including their hardiness, sun and soil requirements, potential pest issues, and deer resistance—the guide also details site assessment and design considerations for stormwater retention structures. Descriptions also include cultivar information and ecological impacts, such as attractiveness to pollinators. Download the guide here.