Remembering a Titan of Urban Forestry: Ed Drabek

Edwin S. (Ed) Drabek

Feb. 18, 1934 – Jan. 22, 2019

Some factual information for this post is excerpted from Mr. Drabek’s obituary, written by Dale Anderson for The Buffalo News.

Ed Drabek leaves a legacy of nearly 60 years of service to Buffalo’s urban forest and community and to our wider field of urban forestry. Drabek joined the Buffalo Parks Department Forestry Division 1962 as assistant city forester and was promoted to city forester in 1968.

In the early years, his career was consumed by managing the ravages of Dutch elm disease, removing elms and beginning to restock the Buffalo city forest with a wider variety of urban-tolerant species. It’s estimated that Drabek oversaw the removal of about 95,000 mature elms, but then supervised the planting of 75,000 trees—with sustainable biodiversity in mind. 

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Gloria Van Duyne is New NYSDEC UCF Program Coordinator

Gloria Van Duyne recently became the new NYSDEC Urban and Community Forestry Program Director. We asked Gloria to share a little about herself, including her extensive experience within DEC.   

I was hired in 2005 by Mary Kramarchyk in DEC’s Urban and Community Forestry Program to develop web content and outreach materials. Most recently, I have been the DEC Division of Lands and Forests’ Web and Communications Coordinator, and I have authored several articles in DEC’s Conservationist magazine.

Before coming to DEC, I was the Executive Director at the Landis Arboretum in Esperance, NY. I’ve also worked for The Nature Conservancy in the Delaware Bayshore and for New York Parks and Conservation Association (precursor to Parks and Trails New York), and I’ve volunteered for a variety of organizations. I was the editor of the Taking Root newsletter the last few years it was in print.

I have a Master’s degree from Antioch New England in Natural Resource Management and Not-for-Profit Administration. 

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David Moore Finalist for ADF Trailblazer Award

David Moore on his way to a presentation to the Oakland City Council.

NYSUFC Past President David Moore is a finalist for an Arbor Day Foundation (ADF) Trailblazer Award, which recognizes an individual under the age of 35 who has demonstrated leadership in forestry, community forestry, research, or tree care during the past five years.

Our Council nominated David for this award, citing his many impressive accomplishments. ADF summarized some of the highlights from the nomination:

  • The title of Senior Tree Supervisor at the City of Oakland, California belies David Moore’s age and accomplishments. During his tenure at New York City Parks, David developed a sophisticated system of tree species selection that is a model for urban foresters across the country, and he served as co-chair of the MillionTreesNYC committee. He also served as president of the New York State Urban Forestry Council from 2015-17, where he was highly regarded for his organizational and leadership skills.

Early in 2018, David and his wife, graphic designer Leyla Moore, moved from NYC to Oakland after David accepted the position as Senior Tree Supervisor in the city’s public works department. He has been busy with the new position and with David and Leyla’s first baby, Shepard.

For 2019, ADF identified 25 finalists for six awards. The winners of ADF Awards will be announced prior to National Arbor Day on April 26, 2019. Since 1972, the Foundation has presented annual awards for work at the international, national, state, and community levels to recognize conservation efforts such as tree planting and care, Arbor Day celebrations, education, community projects, and roadside beautification.

Remembering Brian Skinner

Brian at left with his children Melissa, Tracy, Kevin, and Brianne and six of his eight grandkids. Brian’s wife Diane took the photo.

If you haven’t had a chance to send in a reflection, editor Michelle will be happy to add it. Please send to editor@nysufc.org. 

There are two rich profiles of Brian on the blog that you might like to visit. A popular profile from 2014, and Brian’s reflections on his career from the time of his semi-retirement from National Grid. There’s also a post about Brian receiving the first-ever Heartwood Award for service to the Council. 

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Mary Martin’s Career Change within DEC

Urban Forestry Volunteer Coordinator Mary Martin has taken another position within DEC.
 
She says, “I was offered a civil service position with the Division of Water in the Floodplain Management section. I will be assisting communities statewide in adhering to FEMA standards to become or remain eligible in the National Flood Insurance Program. It is a completely different program, however there are some parallels with the Urban Forestry Program in terms of federal funding, educational workshops, and outreach opportunities. I just started last Thursday, so I’m still learning.”
 
Congrats to you, Mary. You have been such an asset to the DEC Urban Forestry program. We will miss you, but we know you will go far in your career, and we are cheering you on! 

Pictorial: Honoring Brian Skinner, Remembering Pat Tobin

 

Following a tree planting in his honor, Brian Skinner’s friends and colleagues gave him a bucket truck salute. Among the speakers were Jim Maloney from National Grid, Rich Nelson from the New York State Arborists, and Council Secretary Steve Harris. Photo by Sally Kellogg/DEC

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A Tribute to Our Friend Pat Tobin

Pat Tobin in 2014 accepting Tree City USA recognition for Fayetteville, which has been a Tree City USA for nearly 20 years, thanks in no small part to Pat’s efforts. With Pat is NYSDEC Urban Forestry Partnerships Coordinator Sally Kellogg.

Beloved Council Past President (2006-2009) and longtime Council stalwart friend Pat Tobin died unexpectedly on September 1, 2018 in her home in Fayetteville. Pat was born and raised in the Eastwood neighborhood of Syracuse, graduating from Eastwood High School and continued her education, receiving a BA from Syracuse University. She remained a lifelong SU sports fan, cheering the football team on her last evening!

Pat spent 40 years at Niagara Mohawk as an IT programmer. After her retirement, Pat became a super-volunteer, helping out with numerous causes, most especially the urban forest by way of the Council and the Fayetteville Tree Commission. Pat was also an active member of Immaculate Conception Church in Fayetteville. 

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