A Perennially Joyful Urban Forestry Recognition Ceremony

Red Hook's Brent Kovalchik and Frances Uku
(left to right) NYS DEC Urban Forestry Program Assistant Sally Kellogg with the Village of Red Hook’s Deputy Mayor Brent Kovalchik and Village Green Committee member Frances Uku. The Village has been a Tree City USA for 14 years.

The 9th annual Tree City/Line/Campus USA Recognition Ceremony was held on March 26, 2015 in Albany where over 40 communities were in attendance including the longest-running Tree City USA, Poughkeepsie NY, represented by Tree Committee member Virginia Hancock.

New York State has 110 Tree City USAs, 6 Tree Line USA utilities, and 14 Tree Campus USAs. These programs were created by the Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters to recognize the stewardship of urban forests by communities.

ST JOHNS TC USA
Congrats, St. John’s University, on entering your 4th year as a Tree Campus USA!

Tree City USA is a program that provides direction, technical assistance, public attention and national recognition for urban and community forestry programs in thousands of towns and cities that more than 93 million Americans call home. A complete list of all communities is posted on DEC’s website at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/5272.html.

Speakers for the March event included organizations from USFS, Cazenovia College, and NYS DEC, the NYS DEC Commissioner Joe Martens was also in attendance of the event and showed his support of the programs.

poster winner
Congrats to winning Arbor Day poster artist Nayeon Park, here with her brother and mother and State Urban Forestry Coordinator Mary Kramarchyk (left) and Program Assistant Sally Kellogg (right)

2015bookmarkThe Department also recognized the 2015 DEC Arbor Day Poster Contest winner Nayeon Park, a 5th Grader from P.S. 209 Clearview Gardens School in Whitestone, Queens, New York. The theme of this year’s children’s artwork was Tree-Mendous Trees of New York. Read on for more pics from the event.

 

 

 

 

 

Read more…

Nina Bassuk Receives Frederick Law Olmsted Award from Arbor Day Foundation

RELEAF 255Last fall, the NYSUFC nominated beloved Cornell Urban Horticulture Institute (UHI) Director and longtime former Council President Nina Bassuk for the Arbor Day Foundation’s Frederick Law Olmsted Award. Current Council President Andy Hillman read the award description and said, “This appears to have been written for Nina!”

The Frederick Law Olmsted award recognizes an outstanding individual with a lifelong commitment to tree planting and conservation at a state or regional level. Further, it honors someone who: shows outstanding personal commitment over their career or lifetime for the betterment of the environment, mobilizes people in tree planting and care, makes unique or extraordinary contributions and commitment with regards to tree planting, landscape, conservation, education, or research, and serves as a role model and mentor to others.

The Council is so very pleased to announce that Nina received the Frederick Law Olmsted Award for 2015. Here is a video the Arbor Day Foundation made about Nina’s work that shows why she was the perfect candidate:

It was challenging to summarize Nina’s accomplishments in the three pages indicated by the award nomination guidelines. Here are some highlights:

  • Thanks to Dr. Bassuk’s research and extension efforts in bare root transplanting technology, tens of thousands of trees have been planted in New York and the greater Northeast that would otherwise not have been. In 2014 alone, 8800 bare root trees were purchased by 93 municipalities across 11 states from Schichtel’s Nursery in Western NY.
  • Dr. Bassuk has been the City of Ithaca Shade Tree Advisory Committee Chair since 1985, and she served on the Ithaca Parks Commission from 1991-2003. She served as the President of the NYS Urban Forestry Council from 1990-2001 and thereafter as a Board Member.

Read more…

Looking Back with Pride: Our Council’s 2014 Annual Report

Screenshot 2015-04-13 09.46.20

Taking a step back and looking at all the work we accomplished in 2014 is a very joyful experience and also very humbling. The Council’s 2014 Annual Report is now available HERE for view and download.

This is a time to be very proud ourselves–way to go, everyone! Beyond that, this document also serves many useful purposes including:

– Portraying the Council’s mission and activities

– Educating influential decision-makers about our work on important issues

– Creating a historical account of our accomplishments and progress

– Acknowledging the work of our members, volunteers, and sponsors

RELEAF 190But we can only fulfill these useful purposes if we distribute this report to others. Doing so expands our circle of influence and galvanizes strategic relationships that help us accomplish our common mission. Do you have a Facebook page or Twitter account where you could repost it? Some types of people you may wish to share with might include:

– Professional colleagues

– Policy-makers and elected officials

– Business contacts

– Potential sponsors

– Educators

– Students

– Community members

– Family members

So, please enjoy the read and feel free to leave your feedback in the comments section.

NYSUFC ANNUAL REPORT 2014 – FINAL

Meet Our Council’s New Executive Secretary, Liana Gooding

Gooding Family
Liana Gooding with her son Ian, son Jared, and husband Mark.

Liana (pronounced “Lee Anna”) Gooding is the NYSUFC’s new Executive Secretary. Welcome, Liana! She introduces herself here.

I grew up in suburban Rochester, attended SUNY Oswego and have lived in several different areas of New York State. I now reside in the small rural village of Lima, just south of Rochester with my husband Mark and son Jared (my six-foot-tall, 16-year-old “baby.”) Our older son, Ian, is in his first year at Clarkson University. He’s doing great, while mom is still having separation anxiety.

I began my administrative career in medical office management and upon moving to the Adirondacks (where Mark was working for NYS DEC) I had the opportunity to work for the Village of Saranac Lake and served as Village Clerk. Mark and I had two young boys when he was offered a transfer to the Region 8 DEC office (where he is today), which brought us to Lima and closer to family.

I married into forestry. Mark was attending SUNY ESF when we met, and he works as a forester for DEC. He introduced me to various forestry related groups, including the New York Forest Owners Association (NYFOA), New York Tree Farm, and the NYS Urban Forestry Council. I was at home with our young boys when the office administrator opportunity came up for both NYFOA and Tree Farm. Both jobs fit my administrative skills and provided the work from home option that I have enjoyed for ten years. It’s been rewarding to support a group of engaged volunteers working toward a shared purpose. Finding out that the NYS Urban Forestry Council was looking for an Executive Secretary, I felt it would be a great fit for me and would blend well with the work I do for the other groups.

I’m looking forward to seeing a different side of forestry and meeting a whole new group of people. I hear the Council is a fun bunch of dedicated professionals. I look forward to meeting many of you at the summer conference!

I’d love to hear from you: lgooding@rochester.rr.com. I can be found most days in my home office with my furry companions. They’re kind of lazy, and one has been known to bark when I’m on the phone, but they are the best co-workers around.

Cross-Pollinating Urban Forestry

On March 4, NYSUFC President Andy Hillman attended the Alliance for Community Trees (ACTrees) first-ever Urban Forest Council Steering Committee meeting. The other participating state councils were from NC, PA, WI, CO, and CA. Hillman says, “The meeting affirmed for me that our Council is part of a larger urban forestry movement that could benefit from more cross-pollination and sharing of ideas.”

In that spirit, it seems fitting that as our own NYSUFC blog launches, we check out the blogs and websites of other state urban forest councils. What are some of the most interesting and innovative things they are doing? 

Georgia Urban Forest Council | Sustaining Georgia’s green legacy by helping communities grow healthy trees. The Georgia Urban Forest Council has a well-developed, easy-to-navigate website with a blog on the home page. They have a Georgia ReLeaf “Donate” button right on the home page. Other nice touches: There is a tab that links to the American Grove blog, and a tab that goes to extensive pages on tree care.

Read more…