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More Skidmore ReLeaf!

Lumber saw demo group photo - DEC (S.Alvey)
Hanging out at the portable sawmill demo: front left to right: East Fishkill Beautification Director Lori Brengalmann, DEC State Urban Forestry Coordinator Mary Kramarchyk, NYC Forester Danielle Gift. rear left to right: DEC Forester Gary Koplun, DEC Urban Forestry Partnerships Coordinator Sally Kellogg, Schichtel’s Nursery Sales Manager Jim Kisker. Photo by Suzie Alvey
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CCE Nassau County’s Horticulture Assistant K.C. Alvey (left), Urban Forestry Educator Nick Bates, and Horticulture Assistant Addie Cappello. They presented a talk on Friday morning about the ALB Reforestation Project on Long Island. Photo by Suzie Alvey
Lumber saw demo (S.Alvey)
Students like Shadrach Mckinney (third from left) and and longtime Council members like Ann Stevens (left) and Pat Tobin (second from left) mixed and mingled at the portable sawmill demo on Friday night. Photo by Suzie Alvey
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K.C. Alvey at left with CCE Onondaga Urban Forestry Educators Justin Kwiatkowski and Clare Carney, who both work with the Save the Rain tree planting program. Photo by Suzie Alvey
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Historian and photographer Suzie Alvey (left), arborist Dana Murch (center), and geologist and environmental advocate Robert Alvey. At ReLeaf 2014 on Long Island, Rob gave a tour of the Garden City Bird Sanctuary that he founded 21 years ago along with the Alvey Arboretum. All three of Suzie and Rob’s daughters are involved in urban forestry or conservation. Photo by Suzie Alvey
Friday night picnic Suzie Alvey
The Friday night picnic at Skidmore ReLeaf was held indoors until the thunderstorm passed. Photo by Suzie Alvey
Gary Raffel on Tree Radar Suzie Alvey
Arborist Gary Raffel participated in the Tools of the Trade workshop, teaching about Tree Radar. Photo by Suzie Alvey
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Friday night picnic, with new Council board member & NYC Forester Mike DeMarco at left. Photo by Suzie Alvey

 

Julie Seghrouchni headshot Courtesy JulieReflection from NYC Parks Forester Julie Schondorf-Seghrouchni on ReLeaf 2016:

“This conference, as all past ReLeaf conferences, was exceptional. It was so well organized, packed with great educators, and set in a perfect venue. For me, in addition to expanding my education, it so much fun to be around so many tree lovers, since my friends and family just put up with all my tree talk.

I really liked the combination of classroom teaching and field education. In the “Tools of the Trade” workshop, we observed the actual usage of Level 2 inspection equipment, including how their findings are interpreted, and most importantly, how they are integrated in the total analysis of evaluating trees.

Neil Murphy’s presentation on water focusing on biology was a different angle that can be used to encourage people to recognize the value of trees in water management. It was exciting to see specific projects where trees are being used to filter, clean, and reduce storm water runoff.

I was happy to see examples of projects with suspended pavement. I have seen this technique working successfully overseas, and it seems to have a lot of promise for the urban environment.

There were so many excellent classes with lots of continuing education credits available that I was able to choose the best programs for my specific interests; although I would really have loved to go to everything. This was a wonderful opportunity to further my education in a serene setting with lots of like-minded people. My thanks to all the organizers and presenters.”

Thank you, esteemed Conference Sponsors! 

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ReLeaf 2016 Reflections

Did you know that scholarships toward registration for the annual ReLeaf conference are available through the DEC for qualified applicants? These folks received awards this year.

IMG_0413Dewitt’s Nicholas Quilty-Koval:

The Releaf Conference was fantastic. It was a great experience and I was able to talk to many great people who encouraged me to pursue my goal of a career in urban planning.

In my community I have the opportunity to go door-to-door and talk to people about receiving a free tree. I am involved in the Save The Rain program for the Town of Dewitt. This program works with OEC (Onondaga Earth Corps) in an attempt to educate the nearby community about the benefits of trees as well as saving the rain. Our goal is to plant trees in the local area in order to do things such as decrease the amount of flooding, improve the air quality, and improve the appearance of the neighborhoods. I am also involved in the Town’s attempt to save ash trees that have been impacted by emerald ash borer. I have marked trees for removal as well as treatment. I also work with database software to help track the trees in our area.

Every aspect of the conference gave me insight into new topics and I learned a lot. It also connected ideas that I had originally been exposed to in my first year at college. There are many great takeaways that I received from the conference; the biggest one came from the Urban Wood Utilization talks with Jim Maloney and Tom Derby. I learned that we should not grind up ash and other trees into mulch, but instead should try to make them into something more useful and high-value, from a bench to a turkey call. Doing this would allow for more revenue from the tree and more meaningful products. I learned that marketing is a big key to the success of this idea of reusing the wood from urban trees.

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ReLeaf 2016 at Skidmore: Snapshots Part II

SUNY ESF grads gathered at Skidmore 2016 ReLeaf conference for a group photo, with ESF President Emeritus Neil Murphy at center. Photo by Mary Martin
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Portable sawmill demo by Mid-Hudson Forest Products. Photo by Suzie Alvey
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Board members Karen Arent (left), a landscape architect from Goshen, and Karen Emmerich, an environmental consultant from Warwick.
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Arborist Stew Leonard of Tree Care by Stan Hunt demonstrated microinjection applications.
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ArborJet Mid-Atlantic Technical Manager Trent Dicks demonstrated microinjection techniques as well.
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NYS DEC Saratoga Tree Nursery’s Brian Phillips gave a terrific tour of the facility. Founded in 1911, the nursery produces 1.5 million seedlings representing over 50 species annually.
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At the Saratoga Tree Nursery, Brian Phillips gave us a fascinating look inside the seed processing facility.
Pine cones at the Saratoga Tree Nursery seed processing center.
Pine cones at the Saratoga Tree Nursery seed processing facility.
At the Saratoga Tree Nursery, rooted cuttings from the Balmville tree that had to be taken down last August. The Balmville tree legacy lives on!
At the Saratoga Tree Nursery, we got to see rooted cuttings from the Balmville tree that had to be taken down last August. The Balmville tree legacy lives on!
Welcome to new board member Mark Beamish, who is manager of vegetation management for Orange & Rockland Utilities.
Welcome to new board member Mark Beamish, who is manager of vegetation management for Orange & Rockland Utilities.
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Welcome also to new board member Jeffrey Bell, lead analyst vegetation manager for NYSEG.
Public art installations abound at Skidmore, where "Creative Thought Matters."
Public art installations abound at Skidmore, where “Creative Thought Matters.”

Snapshots from Skidmore: ReLeaf 2016 Part I

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DEC U&CF Intern and Council Board Member Jennifer Kotary (left) served on the planning committee for the conference and she and Filomena Riganti, senior project manager for the New York Restoration Project, registered and welcomed attendees.
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Right this way! The conference at Skidmore in Saratoga Springs was organized by DEC Regions 4 and 5 ReLeaf Committees. The conference was last held at Skidmore in 2007. Kudos to the regional committees for a superb program!
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The conference was held at Skidmore, which recently attained its Tree Campus USA status. For their tireless efforts on the ReLeaf Conference and throughout the year, many thanks to State U&CF Coordinator Mary Kramarchyk and to Sally Kellogg, who was recently promoted to Urban Forestry Partnerships Coordinator. Thank you also to super-on-top-of-things Council Executive Secretary Liana Gooding.
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NYS DEC Urban Forestry Program Assistant Mary Martin did a fantastic job as conference facilitator/coordinator.
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Council President and NYC Parks Bronx/Staten Island Senior Forester David Moore (left) skillfully facilitated the Board and Member meetings, bringing his characteristic diplomacy and positive energy to the table.
Marquise Brown-Thornton (left) and Shadrach McKinney of the Onondaga Youth Corps came to ReLeaf for the first time.
Marquise Brown-Thornton (left) and Shadrach McKinney of the Onondaga Earth Corps attended ReLeaf for the first time.
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Council Vice President Brian Skinner (left) and Board Members Brenda Cagle of Red Hook and Pat Tobin of Fayetteville toasted the start of a new ReLeaf conference.
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Council Treasurer Lori Brockelbank (left) of Wendel Companies and Board Member Rachel Holmes, coordinator of The Nature Conservancy’s Healthy Trees, Healthy Cities (HTHC) Initiative.
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NYC Parks Forester Jeremy Law attended ReLeaf for the first time. His graduate research at Columbia involved the insect diversity of green roofs in the five boroughs of NYC.
Beautiful Skidmore after a real stomper of a rainstorm.
Beautiful Skidmore after a real stomper of a thunder shower.

More to come!

2015 Annual Council Report Now Available!

annual report 2015 From NYSUFC President David Moore: 

The Council’s 2015 Annual Report has been finalized and is ready for your review and distribution!

Our annual report serves many functions including:

  • Defining the Council’s mission and goals;

  • Illustrating how those mission and goals are pursued;

  • Measuring progress and quantifying accomplishments;

  • Re-capping all activities that took place in a year for the sake of creating a historic record; and

  • Creating a fact-filled deliverable that can be shared with constituents, stakeholders, partners, and policy-makers.

Many copies of this report have been printed and can be picked up at this week’s ReLeaf Conference in Saratoga Springs, but of course you can also download a digital copy yourself at any time. Please distribute far and wide to anyone who may be interested in hearing about the Council’s work!

Cheers,
David
david.moore@parks.nyc.gov

 

 

 

Gary Raffel: Get to Know Him!

IMG_9051 - Copy Arborist Gary Raffel (pron. “Rough-FELL”) is a NYSUFC Board member and small business owner based in Bloomfield, south of Rochester.

What lead you to arboriculture and urban forestry?
Gary Raffel: I grew up with an interest in the outdoors, including hunting and hiking, and from an early age wanted to become a forester. In high school, I did landscaping work for a friend’s start-up company and gravitated toward pruning trees and the thrill of climbing them to get a dead limb here or there. That turned into working for tree companies on summer breaks from Paul Smith’s College. Eventually, I decided to dual major at SUNY ESF in forestry and forest biology to integrate my desire to become a forester with my experience climbing and working in arboriculture.

While at ESF I took Paul Manyon’s tree pathology class and an entomology course and was hooked on the material and the desire to focus on individual trees. I worked for a summer in Pennsylvania marking timber and boundary lines for a consulting forestry company and I realized, though I loved the forest setting, I missed the thrill of climbing and focusing on the individual tree within the stand. It became clear to me that the real-world economics of timber stand management wasn’t always in accord with the textbook sustainable management practices I was so eager to implement. I also met too many foresters who had come to feel like the woods was a job site for them and they began to despise it. I wanted to keep the woods as a special place, one where I could always hike and hunt without feeling like I was on a job site. So from then on, I decided to focus my studies on arboriculture and urban forestry.

Read more…

Getting to Know Capital Roots and Sharon DiLorenzo

 

Sharon DiLorenzo and capital roots iii

Sharon DiLorenzo is a program manager for Capital Roots, whose vision for the future of the Capital Region is “where every person has access to fresh, affordable, healthy food.” The organization is also involved in urban forestry projects and partnerships. She has served multiple terms on the NYSUFC Board and will be presenting on the work of Capital Roots as part of the “Fruits of the Urban Forest” workshop on Saturday morning of the upcoming (July 14-16) conference in Saratoga Springs.

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Getting the Word Out: Advice for Writing about Urban Forestry

by Michelle Sutton, NYSUFC Blog & E-news Editor

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Yellowwood (Cladrastis kentukea) in bloom. Michelle Sutton

Why Write?
My colleague Jeff Shimonski was the director of horticulture for Jungle Island in Miami, Florida for 39 years. He retired from that position in 2014 and now works as an urban forestry consultant. He also continues to write about horticulture for a variety of publications, including the Biscayne Times, for which he’s written 72 columns.

“Ever since I started working professionally in horticulture I always wanted to write articles for newspapers, magazines, and journals,” he says. “It was a big thrill for me to get published for the first time in an international journal.”

I remember that thrill, too. I’ve been freelance writing since 1998 and freelance editing since 2005. I can relate to both sides of the editor’s desk. I’ve been the writer whose submissions are rejected, and I’ve been the editor who had to do some polite rejecting. I have some thoughts to share based on my familiarity with both sides of the exchange.

Why write about urban forestry? First of all, our field needs more advocacy and visibility, in the form of online or print features, columns, and letters to the editor. The more publications we have a presence in—from small-town papers to national magazines and blogs—the more the field of urban forestry is elevated. You may also be motivated to write for the sheer pleasure and gratification of it, for a little extra money, to develop your writing ability, or to help promote your business. Sharing your expertise in a lively way is an effective form of marketing yourself, your company, or the nonprofit you’re involved with, while getting urban forestry out in the public eye.

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Saratoga Springs & Skidmore College: Seven Things to Anticipate

Saratoga Springs (Pop. ~ 28,000) is a magical kind of town, one that invites you to explore it on foot. There are many reasons you may wish to come early or stay after the ReLeaf Conference (July 14-16), taking place at Skidmore College, ends.

saratoga book cover*Skidmore College is a 10-minute walk to the very walkable city of Saratoga Springs, where horticulture has a longstanding and elevated station among the beautiful and historic buildings (see especially, Congress Park). A book was written about the horticultural history of Saratoga Springs called Saratoga in Bloom: 150 Years of Glorious Gardens by Janet Loughrey. You can see an article about the book and author here.

*Saratogians loves their urban forest. The City and the nonprofit Sustainable Saratoga Urban Forestry Project partner to get big things done. From the Urban Forestry Project website: “Sustainable Saratoga’s Urban Forestry Project (UFP) gained visibility during 2012 by deploying 125 volunteers to inventory more than 5600 street and park trees in Saratoga Springs. The City used our inventory to shape its first-ever Urban Forest Master Plan, funded by a DEC grant. The City invited the UFP to partner with it during the process of drafting the plan, which was adopted by the city council on May 21, 2013. The UFP quickly broadened its focus beyond the inventory, and now works on many fronts, educating about and advocating for the “preservation and expansion” of our urban forest. In 2014, we partnered with Saratoga Springboard and the City’s DPW to organize Tree Toga, a [now annual] Arbor Day tree planting initiative and a festival on Henry Street.”

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NYC Arbor Day Project, with Youth Growing & Planting 234 Trees

 

Magella Owen and Rajesh from HS of American Studies at Lehman College. by Anthony Thoman
Students from the High School of American Studies at Lehman College in the Bronx plant an evergreen on campus. The students are left to right: Magella Sheehan, Owen McFadzean, and Rajesh Persad. Photo by Anthony Thoman

Due to spring holidays, schools in New York City adopted May 6th as NYC Arbor Day. On that Friday last spring, most of the 59 participating schools planted their trees, which included flowering dogwoods, redbuds, wild cherries, maples, Colorado spruces, red oaks, black walnuts, river birches, honey locusts and black pines. Also planting were Urban Park Rangers at Inwood Hill Park, which is part of NYC Parks & Recreation.

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Kindergartners in Pat Evens’s class at PS 174 in Queens plant a redbud tree they named Sophia. Photo by Pat Evens

The total number of trees planted was 234, which had been grown to size and carefully tended by students and teachers at John Bowne High School in Flushing, Queens. Students at Bowne participate in the Plant Science and Animal Science programs at this high school. The tree nursery is part of a small farm that is also home to animals, greenhouses, an orchard, and vegetable planting beds.

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