Socially Distanced-Style, CCE Nassau Plants Tree for Arbor Day

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County planted a red oak (Quercus rubra) tree on Arbor Day on April 24th at the new location for their administration office. CCE Nassau County Hort and UCF Educator, Council Board Member, and ISA Certified Arborist Vinnie Drzewucki led the planting effort.

Here’s the event flyer, letting folks know how they could participate virtually, and referring people to Arbor Day resources, including Six Ways to Celebrate Arbor Day in a Time of Social Distancing  and Happy Arbor Day (at Home).

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2020 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Grant Program

The USDA Forest Service is requesting applications for the Fiscal Year 2020 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Grant Program. A fabulous USFS GLRI StoryMap highlights contributions of this grant program to Great Lakes restoration goals.

The U.S. Forest Service anticipates that up to $4.2 million in new funds will be available for competitive grants in four program areas:

  • Forest Insect and Disease Mitigation
  • Reduce Runoff from Degraded Sites through Green Infrastructure
  • Protect and Restore Coastal Wetlands through Healthy Tree Cover
  • Restore Resilient Riparian and Shoreline Forests

The FY 2020 GLRI Request for Applications (RFA) Instructions, agency-specific forms, and other resources are available on their GLRI RFA website.

Applications must be prepared and submitted through Grants.gov by 6 p.m. Eastern on June 26, 2020. The opportunity number in Grants.gov is USDA-FS-2020-GLRI.

The GLRI FY 2020 Informational Webinar is May 12, 10:00 am Eastern/9:00 am Central. Click to register and for more information!

They encourage all applicants to work with their State forestry agency to determine how their project fits into the goals and objectives of the State Forest Action Plan. If you have questions, please reach out to your Field Representative or Sheela Johnson (sheela.johnson@usda.gov or 224-999-1997).

DEC Announces 2020 Fifth Grade Arbor Day Poster Contest Winner

child's drawing of an apple tree

Last month, NYSDEC Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the winner of DEC’s Annual 5th Grade Arbor Day Poster Contest – Nicole Halaseh from Casimir Pulaski School in Yonkers, Westchester County.

“This year’s 5th grade Arbor Day Poster Contest winner Nicole Halaseh’s unique artwork captures the importance of New York’s official State fruit, the apple, and how it’s both a healthy food source and a valuable part of New York’s economy,” said Commissioner Seggos. “DEC thanks all the students who participated in this creative demonstration of the many ways trees contribute to our lives.”

Each year, hundreds of fifth graders across the state compete in designing an educational and eye-catching poster focused on a theme that honors trees. The 2020 poster theme is “Trees Feed New York,” giving students the opportunity to learn about the dozens of ways both humans and wildlife rely on trees as a food source.

The annual 5th Grade Arbor Day Poster contest is announced in September and runs through December. New York State teachers, schools, and clubs that wish to participate in the next contest round should visit DEC’s website for more information.

Were you involved in Earth Day or Urban Forestry 1970-1993?

NANCY WOLF SEEKS INFORMATION ABOUT URBAN FORESTRY ACTIVITY AROUND THE STATE

Nancy Wolf is writing a short history of urban forestry in New York State from the earliest days of the late 19th century through today’s successful program.

Archival materials have not been systematically collected, unfortunately, but she is in touch with many who have been active in the program and they are pleased to share memories and any information they have.

She would like anyone to let her know information, particularly the following:

1.  Were there any “tree groups” or environmental organizations that celebrated the original Earth Day in 1970?

2.  Did any “tree groups” or environmental groups work with DEC in the early days of urban forestry from 1978 through 1991?  She would like details about this period, particularly. The Urban Forestry Coordinators during this period were Carl Wiedemann and Peter Innes.

3.  What “tree groups” are there now that are doing local urban forestry work, either on their own or in cooperation with local and state agencies?

4.  She would like details of the planning groups that were created by the expansion of New York ReLeaf in the early 1990’s. Many of the materials of that time have disappeared.

If you have memories or other information, please write to Nancy at jlnwolfinc@aol.com or call her at 718-834-4589.

Thanks!  

DEC: Tree Nursery 2020 Seedling Sale & Buffer in a Bag Giveaway

DEC Nursery’s Spring Sale Happening Now

DEC’s Colonel William F. Fox Memorial Saratoga Tree Nursery’s annual seedling sale is happening now! Dozens of tree and shrub species are available for purchase for conservation plantings across New York State. You can browse this year’s selection on our website, and we recommend placing your order by phone for the most up-to-date species availability information. The sale runs until May 15th, and seedlings are shipped mid-April through May.

Buffer in a Bag – Deadline April 10 (or While Supplies Last)

Don’t forget – if you’re a landowner with at least 50 feet of streamside property in New York State, you may be eligible for 25 free tree and shrub seedlings through DEC’s Buffer in a Bag initiative! Buffer in a Bag seedlings are intended to create riparian buffers that help prevent erosion, improve water quality, and create wildlife habitat along water.

Qualifying landowners are selected on a first-come, first-served basis now through April 10, while supplies last. Learn more and find an application on Buffer in a Bag program website.

Sophia Rodbell & Her Post-MFI Reflection

Sophia Rodbell (left) with fellow 2020 MFI grad Jean Zimmerman (center) and MFI Teaching Cadre Member and Council Past President Andy Hillman, enjoying the early spring weather in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

NYSUFC Board Member Sophia Rodbell recently graduated from the 2020 Municipal Forestry Institute (MFI), funded in part by a scholarship from the Council. It was held in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Can you tell us about your job background and education?
Sophia Rodbell: I started working at Davey Resource Group Inc. (DRG) after graduating from Roanoke College in 2014. I started as an inventory arborist, moved to urban forester, took on more responsibility as a site manager, and then became a project manager when I joined our NYC team to manage the urban forestry component of our office. Prior to moving to NYC I was on the road 365 days a year, working up and down the East Coast, all across the Midwest, as far south as Texas and as far west as California. DRG gave me the chance to see all parts of the United States—as long as they had trees, I was there.

I am currently a DRG Project Manager; I work with a team of five to ten arborists in different places in their careers. This is the same work I previously did, but on a regional scale. We help mid-Atlantic clients—from Northern Virginia to Central New York—with their urban forests. We also have the opportunity to send staff across the country to assist other regional offices; it is awesome seeing them have the same experience I received.

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In Difficult Times, Turn to Nature: Natural Areas Conservancy Wisdom

From NYC’s Natural Areas Conservancy comes this note from Director Sarah Charlop-Powers and her team. We thought it would be of interest to all those who are looking for comfort in natural areas and parks across New York State. 

“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” -John Muir

From all of us at the Natural Areas Conservancy –

We are reaching out to our community of friends and supporters — knowing that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected our daily lives in ways we could not have imagined.

The resilience of this city is truly incredible, and we are especially thankful for our friends and colleagues in public service who are working hard to provide citywide services during this difficult time. This includes the staff of NYC Parks who are keeping our parks open for all New Yorkers.

As we all continue to adjust to this new normal, we want to share a few updates on how our staff at the Natural Areas Conservancy are responding.

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