Pictorial: SMA Conference Converges on the White River in Indianapolis

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Author Michelle Sutton

Two posts ago, Dewitt Naturalist Christine Manchester did a lively report on her takeaways from the Partners in Community Forestry Conference that took place Nov 16-17 in Indianapolis. Just prior to Partners were professional meetings and conferences like that of the Society of Municipal Arborists (SMA). I edit SMA’s online magazine, City TREES, and have been fortunate to be sent by the Society to cover its conferences for the past twelve years.

SMA has nearly 1900 members from around the world. Members include municipal arborists, urban foresters, nonprofit staff, community volunteers, parks superintendents, educators, DPW directors, landscape architects, natural resource folks, and a big contingent of students. SMA is for everyone who cares about the urban forest and wants a national and international perspective!

In this pictorial I attempt to convey some of the positive energy that reliably infuses the annual SMA conference. It’s a short conference, but a very rich one designed to further the mission of the SMA, “Leading the world in building the confidence, competence, and camaraderie of the family of professionals who create and sustain community forests.”

SMA_logo2008Whether you are an urban forest professional or a longtime volunteer and advocate, I highly recommend you attend the SMA conference, and then stay for the Partners conference. In 2017, SMA and Partners is heading to Tulsa, Oklahoma. The SMA portion will be Nov 13-14, 2017, and the Partners Conference will be Nov 15-16. Hope to see you there!

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We who attended the 2016 SMA conference in November in Indianapolis, Indiana were treated to sunny days. This enhanced our enjoyment of the preconference tour of parks in Indianapolis-adjacent Carmel, including the Village/planned community of West Clay.

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Thoughtful horticulture abounds in Indianapolis and there are 25,400 square feet (2360 sq m) of attractive bioswales and stormwater planters along the City’s Cultural Trail.
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SMA’s “Fun Run, Walk, or Watch” on a beautiful Monday evening raised money for the Urban Forest Foundation.
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Young people like Abigail Krause reported on their summer internships with city foresters.
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Syracuse City Arborist Steve Harris (center) and the education program team he chaired were honored for pulling together an excellent conference. Outgoing SMA President Jeremy Barrick at left and longtime SMA Executive Director Jerri LaHaie at right.
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A fastigiate English oak (Quercus robur) along Indy’s canal walk.
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One of 46 (!) murals along downtown Indy’s canal walk.
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Keith Cline came from Virginia and Terri-Ann Koike came from Honolulu, Hawaii.
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SMAer Tara Costanzo is the community resource forester for the Wyoming State Forestry Division.
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Dr. Mesude Duyar-Ozyurekoglu is the Louisville, Kentucky Metro Parks Forestry and Landscape Manager.
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Many street trees in downtown Indy enjoy shared planting beds for greater rooting volume.
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Another cool mural along the canal.
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Urban Forest Technologist Lindsay Button came from the City of Kitchener, Ontario Canada
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Fun Run walkers (from left) Herb White, Rick Harper, Julie Coop, and Phil Rodbell enjoyed the sunset as they completed the 2.5 mile loop.
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Public art/free library installations had many expressions around downtown Indy.
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Goodbye and thank you, Indianapolis!

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