A Whitman’s Sampler of ReLeafers

Urban and community foresters (both paid and volunteer) and their advocates and allies are some of the most interesting and warm people you will meet. I endeavored to meet everyone at the 2014 ReLeaf Conference at Hofstra, but alas, the buzzer went off too soon. I wish there had been more time to trade our stories! But thankfully, sharing our stories is something we can do in TAKING ROOT. For now, here are some of the ReLeafers I did get to meet. Warmly, Michelle Sutton, your TR Editor

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Region 7’s Kate Woodle worked for over 25 years as Exhibit Designer, Graphics Artist, and Illustrator at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse. Retired from that position, she now works freelance and is also a photographer and children’s book illustrator. You can see her work at katewoodleillustration.com.

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ReLeaf Rock Band! Video of Bram Gunther and Friends

 

For the members’ reception Thursday night of 2014 ReLeaf Hofstra, we were delighted to have a live rock band, Billy Goes Buffalo. The lead singer is Bram Gunther, Chief of Forestry, Horticulture, and Natural Resources for NYC Parks and Recreation. (Bram is also a novelist in his “free time.”) The bass guitarist is carpenter Tim Foster, and the drummer is David Maddox, publisher of The Nature of Cities. When asked for the story behind Billy Goes Buffalo, Bram says, “We are just friends having fun.”

 

ReLeaf 2014: Horticulture at Hofstra

Many college campuses have arboreta or like to say, “The whole campus is an arboretum!” At Hofstra, they take their arboretum to the next level, adding diverse, intensively planted gardens around every corner. I was truly blown away. Each evening after workshops and a happy frenzy of socializing, I strolled around the campus grounds by myself, mouth agape at the beauty and diversity, and took hundreds of pics.

For background, check out this terrific short video interview of Hofstra Arboretum Director Fred Soviero. Fred was truly on fire when giving us our tours; we loved his energy and great sense of humor! Then read on to the pictorial that follows.

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ReLeaf 2014 at Hofstra, Part III: Deconstructing a Special Picture

I love this picture so much. To me, it captures the exuberance of ReLeaf 2014. Let’s break down who’s who and also talk about the Thomas Jefferson statue. -Michelle Sutton, Ed. 

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AnnaRELEAF 209 Carragee is the Forest Program Assistant for Cornell Cooperative Extension Syracuse. Anna works on Onondaga County’s Save the Rain program to provide street trees to properties around the city in order to beautify neighborhoods, provide environmental benefits, and reduce combined sewer overflow events. Prior to that, she was an urban forest technician for the City of Syracuse. Anna received her BS in Natural Resources: Resource Ecology from the University of Vermont and is working on her Master’s in Environmental Horticulture.

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Kim Zhang is the Forestry Program Educator for CCE Onondaga County. Kim earned her Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from SUNY – College of Environmental Science and Forestry with a concentration in community planning. During her time in school she interned at Wave Hill, working with youth in forest restoration. Prior to starting at CCE on the Save the Rain program, Kim worked at New York Restoration Project on the MillionTreesNYC initiative, working with cemeteries, faith-based institutions, and NYS Department of Transportation to get trees planted throughout NYC. Since then, she has worked with citizens on community planning meetings, garden designs, and supervised the construction of community gardens. Kim really enjoys working with communities at large and hopes to improve neighborhoods through green infrastructure.

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ReLeaf Retrospective: Part II

The speakers for 2014 ReLeaf at Hofstra were dynamite! Here are some of them: 

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ReLeaf 2014 at Hofstra: The Nature Conservancy’s Director of Forest Health Protection Bill Toomey was our keynote speaker on the many urban-forestry related initiatives TNC is now involved with, including the Healthy Trees, Healthy Cities project. Bill brought a great sense of humor to his presentation.
ReLeaf 2014: Why is 'Right Plant, Right Place' not enough anymore? What underused street trees, like American smoketree, hardy rubber tree, and Miyabe maple should we be considering? Also, how are uniform allees akin to "tree pornography?" Dr. Nina Bassuk covered a lot of territory in her talk, "Trees for the Urban Landscape."
ReLeaf 2014: Why is ‘Right Plant, Right Place’ not enough anymore? What underused street trees, like American smoketree, hardy rubber tree, and Miyabe maple should we be considering? Also, how are uniform allees akin to “tree pornography?” Dr. Nina Bassuk covered a lot of territory in her talk, “Trees for the Urban Landscape.”
The beloved Jim Kisker of Schichtel's Nursery has been a steadfast ally to the urban forestry community. His and Schichtel's support of affordable bare root transplanting has revolutionized the UF landscape! Jim presented with his colleague Bill Snyder of Greenleaf Supplies on "The Decline of the Urban Forest and Pesticide Resistance: How to Make Your UF More Resilient."
The beloved Jim Kisker of Schichtel’s Nursery has been a steadfast ally to the urban forestry community. His and Schichtel’s support of affordable bare root transplanting has revolutionized the UF landscape! Jim presented with his colleague Bill Snyder of Greenleaf Supplies on “The Decline of the Urban Forest and Pesticide Resistance: How to Make Your UF More Resilient.”
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CCE Nassau County Horticulture Educator Vinnie Drzewucki (pron. “Sha-VOOT-ski”) gave a great talk on “Breaking the Fear of Trees,” How to Help the Public Overcome their Dendrophobia. Would love to do a blog post of Vinnie’s talk; it was very enlightening — e.g., more people die from jellyfish encounters than from tree encounters! 
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Hofstra Arboretum Director Fred Soviero gave an unforgettable, high-energy tour of the Campus/Arboretum. More about the campus in the next blog post!

ReLeaf Retrospective: Part I

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ReLeaf 2014 at Hofstra: First order of business, hugging our friends and colleagues! Here, Nancy Needham, Chairwoman of the Manlius Tree Commission and Andy Hillman of the Davey Resource Group.
Next order of business: learn your way around. Michelle Sutton's first time at Hofstra.
Next order of business: learn your way around. TAKING ROOT Editor Michelle Sutton’s first time at Hofstra.
Next, get settled into super comfy digs and enjoy the view from the 10th floor. Start to realize that the Hofstra Campus is a horticultural Disneyland.
Next, get settled into super comfy digs and enjoy the view from the 10th floor. Start to realize that the Hofstra Campus is a horticultural Disneyland.

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ReLeaf Conference Coming Up! Some Highlights from the Program

The 22ND Annual NYS ReLeaf Conference   

July 17-19 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY

REGISTER NOW FOR BEST RATE!

Please see the full program here.   HIGHLIGHTS: 

Nina_Bassuk_250pxPlenary Session: Trees for the Urban Landscape This presentation will showcase Nina’s knowledge and recommendations for the best trees to use in urban settings. Municipalities will learn the best management practices to improve the best uses of plants within the urban ecosystem. The broader audience made up of volunteers and professionals will hear of the latest resources available to integrate technology and science into local landscapes. Demonstration sites using soil technology will show past and present success stories. —Dr. Nina Bassuk, Executive Director, Urban Horticulture Institute, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 

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