ReLeaf 2019 in Pictures, Part III

Saturday’s keynote speaker, Andrew Revkin (pictured here with his partner, Lisa) brought an international perspective and images in his talk, “Forest Lessons in a Changing Climate.” Revkin is a celebrated environmentalist and musician who, fortunately for us, lives in the Hudson Valley. 
Davey Resource Group Urban Forester/Project Developer Sophia Rodbell serves on the Council Board and volunteered at ReLeaf registration.
Just a mile or so from Mount Saint Mary College is the lovingly designed and coneflower-filled national historic site of the storied Balmville Tree, a cottonwood (Populus deltoides) that was 316 years old when it became too hazardous to the public to stand.

Read more…

ReLeaf 2019 in Pictures: Part II

Young people shone extra bright at the 2019 ReLeaf Conference, injecting energy and enthusiasm into the gathering.

After Onondaga Earth Corps (OEC) Director Greg Michel presented about the OEC mission and programming, OEC youth spoke about their experiences. Pictured here, Onondaga Earth Corps Crew Leader Tajuddin (Taj) shared from the heart about his connection to nature and concerns for the environment.
Young Adult Crew Member Jahkella is new to Onondaga Earth Corps and spoke about what she hopes to learn this season.

Read more…

ReLeaf 2019 in Pictures: Part I

Thank you, NYSDEC staff and Region 3 ReLeaf volunteers, for your hard work putting together a superb ReLeaf Conference.

Recent SUNY ESF grads Amandy Cruty (left) and Nafisa Tabassum are working as urban forestry technicians this summer with Syracuse City Arborist Steve Harris. They attended ReLeaf 2019 in the Hudson Valley, at Mount Saint Mary College.
Council Executive Secretary Liana Gooding (far right) addresses the Council Board just before the start of the conference. On average, 34 members serve on the Board and come from all nine DEC Regions of New York State.
SUNY ESF alum Lew Cutler came from Syracuse and retired doctor Kathy Gaffney came from Long Island to attend ReLeaf 2019. The conference theme was “Urban Forestry in a Rapidly Changing World,” referring in large part to the intersections of urban forestry and climate change.
Gloria Van Duyne is the NYSDEC Urban and Community Forestry Program Coordinator and facilitated and presented at ReLeaf 2019. She and her team worked with Region 3 volunteers to put on the conference.

Read more…

USFS Climate Change Specialist Leslie Brandt Coming to ReLeaf 2019

We are most fortunate to have USFS Climate Change Specialist Dr. Leslie Brandt as the 2019 ReLeaf Conference Friday morning plenary speaker and leader of a workshop later that morning.

In the plenary she will discuss “Assessing Climate Change Vulnerability of Urban Forest and Natural Ecosystems in the Mid-Atlantic Region” and in the workshop, she zooms in on NY with “Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Strategies for New York’s Trees.”

To get background on Leslie’s work with her climate change cohorts, you can see a superb infographic here about the findings of the team studying the vulnerability of the tree species in the urban forests of greater Chicago. The full paper about this study is here.

The vulnerability case studies presented are most interesting. For example, find out why the Village of Riverside’s urban forest is Low-Moderately Vulnerable to climate change effects, while the City of Lake Forest is Moderately Vulnerable, while the Glencoe Park Distrist is Moderate to Highly Vulnerable. What can we do to make moderate to highly vulnerable urban forests in New York more resilient?

Renowned Climate Change Journalist Andrew Revkin Speaking at ReLeaf 2019

Andrew Revkin reported for The New York Times in 2003 from a research camp set up on sea ice drifting near the North Pole. Scientists erected the sign, then added “was” as currents were pushing the ice several miles a day. Photo by Peter West for the National Science Foundation. Photo in Public Domain

At ReLeaf 2019 (July 18-20), Saturday’s keynote speaker will be award-winning climate change journalist and Hudson Valley resident Andrew Revkin on “Forest Lessons in a Changing Climate.” The following bio for Andrew was originally published by ProPublica.

Andrew Revkin is the senior reporter for climate and related issues at ProPublica. He joined the newsroom in December 2016, after 21 years of writing for The New York Times, most recently through his Dot Earth blog for the Opinion section, and six years teaching at Pace University.

Revkin began writing on climate change in the 1980s. In the mid 2000s, he exposed political suppression of climate findings at NASA and editing of federal climate reports by political appointees with ties to the petroleum industry. He was the first Times reporter to file stories and photos from the sea ice around the North Pole.

Revkin has won most of the top awards in science journalism, along with a Guggenheim Fellowship, Columbia University’s John Chancellor Award for sustained journalistic excellence and an Investigative Reporters & Editors Award.

Read more…

Board Member Danielle Gift on ReLeaf 2018 & Her New Position

Council Board Member Danielle Gift with a Parrotia persica on the RIT campus. Photo by Michelle Sutton

Danielle Gift received a scholarship from the New York City/Region 2 ReLeaf Committee, of which she is an active member, to pay for ReLeaf registration and lodging. Get involved with your region’s ReLeaf Committee

Danielle Gift: 

“This year’s Annual New York ReLeaf Conference was one of my favorites to date! The Region 8 committee did a fantastic job of providing a great mix of workshops and field tours on a variety of topics, and all of the speakers were incredible engaging and knowledgeable.

At NYC Parks I’ve recently transitioned from Manager of Special Urban Forestry Projects to Tree Preservation Senior Project Manager. Although many of my special projects came with me to this new position, I now have a stronger focus on tree presentation, and this conference had something important and applicable in each session. It was exciting for me to see these workshops through a different lens—the tree preservation lens. With that in mind, there were three highlights for me: the Keynote on New York Tree Law, the picnic at Olmsted-designed Genesee Valley Park, and the Saturday Service Project, which focused on a Trees for Tribs restoration site in an area hit hard by Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). 

Read more…

ReLeaf 2018 at RIT, Part V: Learning from the Best

These are just some of the talented professionals who presented talks and workshops at ReLeaf 2018. You can see the full program here

NY Natural Heritage Program Ecologist Julie Lundgren served on the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid panel following the superb documentary about HWA: www.youtube.com/watch?v=AupnMjYaI0Q Photo by Michelle Sutton
Cornell Extension Associate Mark Whitmore (left) features prominently in the HWA documentary and served on the panel afterwards. Here, he is introducing silver flies that predate on HWA to hemlocks with students Ky Barnett and Tracy Yardley. Photo Cornell Chronicle
Hilary Mosher is the Finger Lakes Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM) Program Coordinator. She served on the HWA panel with Julie Lundgren and Mark Whitmore.

Read more…

ReLeaf 2018 at RIT, Part IV: Networking & Advocacy

Council President Karen Emmerich (at left) has nurtured the spirit of advocacy required in these times to keep urban and community forestry properly funded. Here, conferees send postcards to legislators about why UCF funding is so vital. All photos by Michelle Sutton
ReLeafers had fabulous weather for their tour of Rochester’s iconic Mount Hope Cemetery.
The Council Members Reception on Thursday evening came with complimentary drinks and catered eats.

Read more…

ReLeaf 2018 at RIT, Part III: Sustainability Tour

RIT Sustainability Initiatives Manager Harshita Sood (far right, front) gave a phenomenal tour of the campus through the lens of sustainability. Here, the tour group just passed through the heart of the quad, underlain with geothermal tech. The campus has very popular low-tech programs, too, like “Goodbye, Good Buy,” in which incoming students can inexpensively purchase furniture and other items left behind by the previous spring’s graduating students. All photos by Michelle Sutton
Welcome to RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability, home to biofuels, fuel cells, and smart building test beds; NanoPower and sustainable manufacturing labs; the Center for Remanufacturing and Resource Recovery; and much, much more. rit.edu/gis

Read more…