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.

David Moore in ESF Magazine; Christina McLaughlin in Conservationist

An article about SUNY-ESF alum and Council Past President David Moore appeared in the Winter 2020 edition of ESF Magazine, a publication for alumni and friends of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

Called “Alumnus Honored as ‘Trailblazer’ Promotes Benefits of Urban Forestry,” the interview conducted by Judy Gelman Myers starts with David’s educational background in forestry and public policy, presents basic concepts of urban forestry, and ends with David urging people to see working in government as an opportunity and an honor.

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Getting to Know DEC’s Dan Gaidasz

Dan (far left) teaching kids in the Capital Region about tree planting on Arbor Day 2019. 

Dan Gaidasz is the NYSDEC Urban and Community Forestry Program Technical Coordinator.

Where did you grew up? Were you interested in nature from an early age?
Dan Gaidasz: I grew up in the Genesee Valley between Mount Morris and Geneseo. From a very young age, I have been interested in the outdoors. I grew up on a small farm and it was very rare to find me indoors unless I got myself in hot water with one of my siblings. Besides being surrounded by farmland and forests, I was also blessed having Letchworth State Park as my “back yard,” where I spent a lot of time exploring. In 6th grade, my school had several professionals come in and talk about their jobs; that’s when I was introduced to forestry. I couldn’t believe you could get paid being outdoors, walking the woods, and playing with heavy equipment. I knew then that I wanted to be a forester.

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Capital Region ReLeaf Hosts Chainsaw Safety Workshop

This GIF is from the recent Capital Region ReLeaf Chainsaw Safety Workshop in Schenectady, taught by Consulting Forester Mike Burns. Mike demonstrated the effect of chainsaws on “flesh” (ham) and then showed how chaps stop the saw. The workshop had 37 attendees across two sessions from around Albany and Schenectady, including many DPW staff from the City of Albany and the City of Schenectady. GIF courtesy Christina McLaughlin

DEC Urban Forestry’s Andrea Nieves: Get to Know Her!

As an undergrad, Andrea Nieves worked on aquatic research projects at Hartwick College’s Pine Lake Environmental Campus in Oneonta, NY.

Andrea Nieves is the NYSDEC Environmental Education Assistant in the Urban Forestry program, covering the needs of the Trees for Tribs program as well.

I was born in Charlotte, North Carolina during the hottest summer on record at the time. When I was four, my parents and I moved to Hyde Park, New York—and I’ve been cold ever since. Nevertheless, despite having to always wear layers (even in summer), I’m glad to have grown up in the beautiful Hudson Valley, and not far from the Catskill Mountains.

There was a field near my house growing up that the neighborhood kids had cleverly named “The Field.” It is a very special place with several landmarks, namely “The Tree” and “The Woods.” I tried to spend as much time as possible there, where my friends and I would make up dance routines, catch pretend Pokémon, swing on a makeshift rope swing, and explore.

In my junior year in high school, the year when you’re somehow expected to know what you want to do with the rest of your life (as least so far as to choose a college major), I remembered exploring The Woods, climbing on logs, and exploring the tiny streams. I remembered the confident feeling that I got from knowing where I was, becoming familiar with the forest and recognizing certain features as landmarks: a bent tree, a mossy rock. I decided to major in Biology, and I focused on environmental research.

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DEC Urban & Community Forestry’s Christina McLaughlin–Get to Know Her!

NYSDEC Urban and Community Forestry Volunteer Coordinator Christina McLaughlin travels widely. Last spring, she fed lorikeets at the San Diego Safari Park.

I grew up in Pittsford, outside of Rochester. I was definitely interested in nature from an early age, because my house was in the woods. I spent a lot of time outside catching frogs and snakes and playing in the dirt. By 4th grade, I’d decided I wanted to be a herpetologist and then a marine biologist.

I went to SUNY Oswego for a Zoology degree because of my love of nature and animals and initial plans to be a zookeeper. After working for a few years, I returned to school at the University of Albany to get a master’s in Biodiversity Conservation and Policy in order to return to biology as a career field. My thesis was on landowner knowledge and opinions of invasive species, inspired by my participation in the Capital Mohawk PRISM.

Christina with husband Mark Lanzafame at a glacial lagoon in Iceland.

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Governor Cuomo Announces $2.8 Million in Grant Awards to Combat Spread Of Invasive Species

A thicket of Japanese knotweed. Citation: Tom Heutte, USDA Forest Service, www.invasives.org

Funding Supports Invasive Species Rapid Response and Control, Research, Lake Management Planning, and Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention Programs.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced more than $2.8 million in grants have been awarded to 42 projects that will reduce the negative impacts of invasive species through control or removal activities, research, and spread prevention. These grants are part of the State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Invasive Species Grant Program and are funded by the State’s Environmental Protection Fund.

Across the state, DEC is using science to determine what actions will have the greatest impact in controlling invasive species. Awarded projects are spread across four categories:

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How Village of Massena Used its EPF Grant Dollars

Veterans Memorial Park in Massena

The Village of Massena (pop. ~10,500) is located in Saint Lawrence County, just south of the Saint Lawrence River. Massena Utility CEO Andy McMahon coordinated the Village of Massena’s effort to secure an EPF grant to fund a tree inventory and tree management plan, both conducted by ArborPro.   

What was the scope and nature of the work you were applying for? 
Andy McMahon: The Village of Massena and Massena Electric collectively applied for a UCF grant. The UCF grant was to provide a tree inventory of the community and part of the town as well as a strategic plan for all areas surveyed. In the case of both the Village and electric utility, we are small and well-intentioned but not necessarily well versed in trees and tree care. This grant allowed for an arborist to come in and do an assessment of the types of trees we have in our public spaces and ROWs. The arborist gave us this inventory snapshot of our tree population as well as a strategic plan for what to do next.

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Akwesasne Uses EPF Grant to Create Stellar Community Forest Management Plan

The beautiful, 109-page Akwesasne Community Forest Management Plan was written and designed by Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Forestry Conservation Technician Aaron Barrigar.

Through EPF grants, the community of Akwesasne and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Forestry Resources Department performed a tree inventory and created the 2018 Akwesasne Community Forest Management Plan. The Plan presents the tree inventory data and an i-Tree Eco analysis of that data, and it provides direction for the stewards of the community forest in the southern portion of Akwesasne, where the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe lives. Southern Akwesasne covers approximately 10,000 acres, with about 3,000 acres in the urban interface.

Les Benedict is Assistant Director of the Environment Division of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe and is the point person for the grants with NYSDEC. He spoke with us about aspects of the grant application and implementation processes and offers some suggestions for future applicants.

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