The Municipal Forestry Institute (MFI) is an exciting, high-level training opportunity educating professionals in the leadership and managerial aspects of urban forestry. This week-long intensive educational program delivers a challenging opportunity to grow a more successful community tree program. It’s a place to learn and master leadership and management tools for program administration, coalition building, strategic thinking, program planning, and public relations. Invest a week in your professional and personal development! MFI 2018 will be held February 18-23 at Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center in Litchfield, CT.
What does MFI Cover?
The MFI curriculum was developed by a team of urban forestry professionals and educators with dozens of years’ experience in leading urban forestry programs at the local, state, federal, and non-profit levels. There are four major components of the MFI curriculum:
- Developing A Leadership Approach To Your Position
- Thinking and Planning Strategically to Advance Urban Forestry Programs
- Working Effectively with Boards, Coalitions, and Non-Profit Organizations
- Managing the Relationship Between People and Trees
The curriculum is presented in a variety of formats including lectures, multi-media presentations, panel discussions, group exercises, and real-life scenarios.
Who should attend?
People who plan, manage, and administer urban forestry programs and who want to become more effective leaders and managers. Past MFI classes have included nearly 600 city foresters and city arborists, urban foresters, municipal arborists, planners, tree wardens, state urban forestry staff, and municipal tree advocates.
ISA CA, BCMA, Municipal Specialist
SAF Certified Forester
APA/AICP Certified Planner
MFI Fast Facts
- MFI started in 2006 and has run annually since.
- In 2017, the first-ever MFI Canada was held. It was in addition to the annual MFI in the U.S.
- Nearly 600 professionals have graduated from MFI since its inception.
- MFI has been held in California, Oregon, Nebraska, and West Virginia. 2018 is the first time MFI will be held in New England.
- The unofficial MFI motto is “Semper Gumby,” meaning “Always Flexible.” Expect for Gumby to surface during the training.
- Participants in MFI don’t just learn from the instructional cadre; they also learn from each other in a Peer Learning Group where they tackle exercises together.
- Former Council President and longtime Council faithful Andy Hillman is a founding member of the instructional cadre for MFI.
- Some Council members who have attended MFI: Danielle Gift, Brian Widener, Andrew Ullman, Mike DeMarco, Karen Emmerich, James Kaechele, Navé Strauss, Rachel Holmes
“MFI has super-charged me to move my program forward! The cadre of instructors really inspired me to expand my sphere of influence and handle tough situations with finesse.” —Chris Larson, City Forester & Environmental Services Superintendent, Oakdale, Minnesota
“As difficult as it is to leave work for a week, MFI is the optimal environment to extend your leadership skills and move your urban forestry program forward. MFI is a supportive & safe forum unlike any other experience. MFI is the ideal environment for the urban forest manager to connect, reflect, and thrive. Extend yourself: apply for MFI!” —Anne Fenkner, Davey Resource Group, Sacramento, California
“MFI has really helped me see myself and my program in a new light and to see the possibilities where I did not even know to look. The shared experience of MFI has been really powerful. I am excited to have the network of peers from my MFI class, and also to be part of the greater network of MFI and SMA.” —Mollie Freilicher, Urban Forester, Massachusetts Department of Recreation and Conservation
“MFI provides the kind of leadership training and professional development that is typically very difficult or unusual for urban foresters to find. MFI has been incredibly valuable and I found myself energized at the end of the week. I strongly recommend it to municipal forestry professionals and stakeholders.” —Andrew Ullman, Director-Brooklyn Forestry, NYC Parks and Recreation, New York, NY