A Week at MFI and My Personal Journey to Do More

Danielle GiftIn February, NYSUFC Board Member Danielle Gift attended the 2014 Municipal Forestry Institute at Lied Lodge & Conference Center in Nebraska City, Nebraska.  

As a child I never had any interest in climbing trees. What I did like was having my feet on the muddy ground and scrambling under vines and logs, ending my day with wet knees and dirt under my fingernails. I remember getting my Arbor Day trees in the mail and planting them with my dad (25 years later, two of them are still around!) I remember as a fifth grader being very concerned about recycling, the Amazon Rainforest, and the humpback whale.

Throughout high school I was usually in one of two places—romping about with the Ecology Club or playing the piano and singing with school ensembles. I went on to study music education in college but I found that teaching music wasn’t for me; the thought of being cooped up in a classroom for the rest of my life seemed soul-crushing. I moved to Flagstaff to study forestry at Northern Arizona University, a move that didn’t shock the people who know me best.

Read more…

An Emblem for a New Blog

Welcome to the first post of the TAKING ROOT blog! This is a place for members of the NYS Urban Forestry Council to share ideas and successes and get to know one another.

yellowwood in bloom

The photo used in the banner of TAKING ROOT you may recognize as a yellowwood tree (Cladrastis kentukea) in bloom. To me the yellowwood is emblematic of urban forestry with its promise (including that of breathtaking beauty) and challenges (yellowwood, especially when not given proper structural pruning when young, is notorious for breaking up after storms).

Indeed the banner photo comes from a yellowwood that is one of a pair planted in the 1960s. The duo is found in a courtyard on the SUNY New Paltz campus; the one you see has good branch structure and is thriving, while the other one had poor branch structure, busted up after a storm a few winters back, and has been in steady decline since.

With yellowwood and urban forestry, great things are possible, and the value of a simple early intervention to care for them is inestimable.  -Michelle Sutton, TAKING ROOT Editor