Nafisa’s Onondaga Earth Corps Chronicles: Chapter 2

Mid-summer harvesting at Salt City Harvest Farm in Kirkville, New York, where New Americans can grow crops from their family cultures. Photo by Nafisa Tabassum
Nafisa Tabassum:
Most of the week of July 13 was spent working at home because of a potential COVID-19 exposure, but fortunately I was back in the field by the end of the week. While I couldn’t spend much time in the field, I had several days to work on my AmeriCorps leadership project. As an AmeriCorps member, I must complete a set amount of hours doing direct service, such as pruning trees or tending green infrastructure. I am also responsible for completing a leadership project, which has to serve the community, Onondaga Earth Corps, or both.

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The Council Community at Mid-Year 2020: Narrated with Video Clips

This was initially shown at the 2020 mid-year Council Membership meeting. It looks at how the Council and larger NYS urban forestry community is adapting to the time of coronavirus, and video clips showcase two young professionals navigating these waters: Amanda Cruty and Nafisa Tabassum. Please enjoy and share!

Nafisa’s Onondaga Earth Corps Chronicles: Chapter 1

Onondaga Earth Corps Crew Member Nesha waters a quaking aspen. Though it may be hotter than hot, one nice thing about working solo outdoors is the ability to get breaks in the day from mask wearing.

Nafisa Tabassum’s OEC Chronicles Begins 

Last week was one of 90+ degree days. Trees are in desperate need of water and rain gardens are in need of love. This past week, I worked on the Green Infrastructure crew led by Taj Martin and Meqdad Ali. We hit several rain gardens in Syracuse, including the garden at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Comfort Tyler Park, and Percy Hughes Elementary School.

Generally, urban greenspace maintenance is collecting any trash from the site and removing unwanted plants that may compete with the species of plants that were deliberately planted. Rain gardens are a depressed area in the landscape that collects rain water and allows it to soak into the ground. Planted with grasses and flowering perennials, they are a beautiful way to reduce runoff!

All of the weed plants we remove are recorded as volume of cubic yards. This information is then inputted into a report that gets sent to Onondaga County and is used to monitor the health of rain gardens all across the City of Syracuse.

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Nafisa Tabassum: Onondaga Earth Corps Chronicles

We are excited to be following the progress of former student ambassador to NY ReLeaf, Nafisa Tabassum, who at the time of ReLeaf was working as an urban forest technician with Syracuse City Arborist Steve Harris. Nafisa earned her degree in Sustainable Energy Management from SUNY-ESF in 2019. She attended ESF Ranger School as part of her education, and she delivered the 2019 Commencement Address to her peers. Nafisa will be writing the Onondaga Earth Corps Chronicles for us this summer.

 

Watertown Downtown Arboretum Virtual Tour This Friday (CEUs)

1.5 Certified Nursery and Landscape Program Credits

1.5 Society of American Foresters Certified Forester Credits

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The City of Watertown holds a unique urban Downtown Arboretum that provides immense beauty and many benefits for people and nature. This webinar will provide an overview of invasive tree pests that threaten the health of the arboretum, and how the City is planning to manage trees that may be impacted by these pests.

A virtual tour of the arboretum will be given through a live demonstration of an interactive online story-map. Visitors of the arboretum can access this story-map on their mobile devices and receive a virtual guided tour of the trees and other information.

Webinar participants will learn how to recognize signs of invasive tree pest infestations and be invited to volunteer to adopt a tree to help monitor the overall health of street trees in the City.

How it Happened: The History of NY ReLeaf

Welcome to Part One of Council Cofounder Nancy Wolf’s meticulously researched and lively

How it Happened: New York ReLeaf

A Brief History of Urban Forestry in the United States and the Creation of the New York State Program

Part 1 of 2

Answering questions such as:

How does NYS urban forestry have its roots in the Adirondacks?

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What was the role of the first Earth Day (1970) in the genesis of urban forestry as a recognized field of study, volunteer focus, and profession?

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How did New York gain the distinction of having the oldest state forestry agency in the United States?

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When and where were the first national urban forestry conferences held, and who organized them?

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Who were the first NYSDEC Regional Foresters for urban forestry, including the first two women?

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How did volunteers and nonprofits fuel the creation of the urban and community forestry movement in NYS?

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Natural Areas Conservancy Welcomes 12 CUNY Interns for Summer 2020

This month, the Natural Areas Conservancy (NAC) kicked off its fifth annual City University of New York (CUNY) internship program. As New Yorkers adjust to new working styles due to COVID-19, the NAC team has worked tirelessly to move the program to a virtual format. They are proud to continue providing high-quality, paid internships for CUNY students, even during this unprecedented time.

The NAC’s Jessica Hoch manages the internship program. She says, “This year, we’re thrilled to offer remote internships for CUNY students who are passionate about conserving New York City’s natural areas. We’ve developed a curriculum focused on forest ecology and management for the students to learn and advance in the coming weeks.” The 12 interns will work virtually in four teams of three, with one Crew Leader and two Crew Members. The projects they complete this summer will allow NAC staff and NYC Parks to better understand local forest health and prioritize future forest management efforts.

Green-Wood Cemetery as Habitat & Ecosystem: Webinar this Friday June 26th

Friday, June 26, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

pyramid cemetery meadow

Credit: Art Presson

Register here

Did you know that Green-Wood is actively converting areas of traditional lawn to naturalistic meadow plantings? We are leading the way in this new trend among cemeteries. These meadows provide wildlife habitat and other important ecosystem services— all while providing a beautiful atmosphere for visitors. Join Jenna Webster, Senior Associate at Larry Weaner Landscape Associates, to learn what it takes to make layered, dynamic plantings work within the cemetery context and understand what such plantings mean for the aesthetic traditions of memorial landscapes.

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NY ReLeaf Webinar: Ecological Assessment of New York City’s Natural Areas

Join NY ReLeaf for an urban forestry webinar on July 21st at 10 AM! The Natural Areas Conservancy (NAC) exists to restore and conserve the green and blue spaces of New York City in order to enhance the lives of all New Yorkers. In this webinar, NAC Project Manager Justin Bowers will talk about recent research done in NYC to create a detailed picture of the composition and condition of NYC’s forests and wetlands.

The study collected ecological data in over 1000 plots throughout the City and provided a wealth of data that contributed significantly to the creation of the Forest Management Framework, a guiding document for forest restoration and conservation in NYC over the next 25 years.

Online registration is free but required in advance.