Kateri Savory on Her MFI Experience

Kateri Savory

Council member Kateri Savory is the Davey Resource Group Project Manager for the Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Program in NYC. Kateri received scholarship funding from the Council toward attending the 2019 Municipal Forestry Institute, which took place in Silverton, Oregon.

Can you tell us about your job background and education?
Kateri Savory: I’ve always loved being outside, and beaches and rainforests are my favorite places. However, the forest, much less an urban forest, wasn’t where I thought I would find myself working.

Before changing fields, I was a district manager in retail where I enjoyed training teams and using my creativity to revamp stores. Constant goal attainment made the long hours satisfactory for a while, but I wanted to spend energy on something that would help others and feed my soul.

I studied Permaculture courses online through Cornell University and then pursued a degree in Ornamental Horticulture from Bronx Community College, which included courses with the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG). The array of adult education classes offered by NYBG were way too interesting for me to pass over, so I took any class that would teach me about gardening, biology, arboriculture, design, etc. I received a Certificate in Gardening and spent much time interning with NYBG, which gave me invaluable skills and knowledge.

I began working with Davey Resource Group in 2015 as an Inventory Arborist. I’ve had the opportunity to assist with various projects including tree inventories, pollinator garden creation, and invasive species management. Since then I became an ISA Certified Arborist and attained the Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ).

Read more…

NYSUFC 2018 Annual Report: Accomplishments, Connections, and Memories

The Council’s 2018 Annual Report, professionally designed by Council Website Manager and Graphic Designer Sarah Gugercin, is now available! It is dedicated to the memories of Pat Tobin and Brian Skinner, and it honors the contributions of Mary Kramarchyk, Sally Kellogg, and Mary Martin, who have moved on to new professional opportunities.

The Annual Report is filled with upbeat images from 2018 conferences, workshops, tree planting events, and Arbor Day celebrations. Have a look, and please share with anyone who may be interested in hearing about the Council’s work and the phenomenal people around New York State who power that work.

Getting to Know Onondaga Earth Corps Director Greg Michel

Greg Michel (at left) went with a team of Onondaga Earth Corps staff and advanced crew members–Nick, Amanda, Taveon, and Tyrell–to the 2018 Partners in Urban Forestry Conference in Irvine, California.

Over the years, Onondaga Earth Corps (OEC) and the Council have partnered in various fruitful ways. OEC Director Greg Michel (pron. “Michael”) recently joined the Council Board; we wanted to get to know him and OEC better. A Council Blog post about the work of OEC can be seen here.

Greg Michel was born in Boston, then raised in Houston for a decade before his family moved to upstate NY when he was 12. He spent a gap year between high school and college in Japan as a Rotary Exchange Student, establishing an abiding interest in Japanese culture. After high school he attended Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio where he majored in International Studies with a regional focus on Japan and wrote his undergraduate thesis on “The Role of Japanese Identity in Cross-Cultural Communication.”

Michel then went to Tokyo Gakugei University to study International and Environmental Education at the graduate level, writing his thesis on “Impact of Global Connections on Place-Based Environmental Education,” and earning his master’s degree in 2001. 

Read more…

Remembering a Titan of Urban Forestry: Ed Drabek

Edwin S. (Ed) Drabek

Feb. 18, 1934 – Jan. 22, 2019

Some factual information for this post is excerpted from Mr. Drabek’s obituary, written by Dale Anderson for The Buffalo News.

Ed Drabek leaves a legacy of nearly 60 years of service to Buffalo’s urban forest and community and to our wider field of urban forestry. Drabek joined the Buffalo Parks Department Forestry Division 1962 as assistant city forester and was promoted to city forester in 1968.

In the early years, his career was consumed by managing the ravages of Dutch elm disease, removing elms and beginning to restock the Buffalo city forest with a wider variety of urban-tolerant species. It’s estimated that Drabek oversaw the removal of about 95,000 mature elms, but then supervised the planting of 75,000 trees—with sustainable biodiversity in mind. 

Read more…

Gloria Van Duyne is New NYSDEC UCF Program Coordinator

Gloria Van Duyne recently became the new NYSDEC Urban and Community Forestry Program Director. We asked Gloria to share a little about herself, including her extensive experience within DEC.   

I was hired in 2005 by Mary Kramarchyk in DEC’s Urban and Community Forestry Program to develop web content and outreach materials. Most recently, I have been the DEC Division of Lands and Forests’ Web and Communications Coordinator, and I have authored several articles in DEC’s Conservationist magazine.

Before coming to DEC, I was the Executive Director at the Landis Arboretum in Esperance, NY. I’ve also worked for The Nature Conservancy in the Delaware Bayshore and for New York Parks and Conservation Association (precursor to Parks and Trails New York), and I’ve volunteered for a variety of organizations. I was the editor of the Taking Root newsletter the last few years it was in print.

I have a Master’s degree from Antioch New England in Natural Resource Management and Not-for-Profit Administration. 

Read more…

David Moore Finalist for ADF Trailblazer Award

David Moore on his way to a presentation to the Oakland City Council.

NYSUFC Past President David Moore is a finalist for an Arbor Day Foundation (ADF) Trailblazer Award, which recognizes an individual under the age of 35 who has demonstrated leadership in forestry, community forestry, research, or tree care during the past five years.

Our Council nominated David for this award, citing his many impressive accomplishments. ADF summarized some of the highlights from the nomination:

  • The title of Senior Tree Supervisor at the City of Oakland, California belies David Moore’s age and accomplishments. During his tenure at New York City Parks, David developed a sophisticated system of tree species selection that is a model for urban foresters across the country, and he served as co-chair of the MillionTreesNYC committee. He also served as president of the New York State Urban Forestry Council from 2015-17, where he was highly regarded for his organizational and leadership skills.

Early in 2018, David and his wife, graphic designer Leyla Moore, moved from NYC to Oakland after David accepted the position as Senior Tree Supervisor in the city’s public works department. He has been busy with the new position and with David and Leyla’s first baby, Shepard.

For 2019, ADF identified 25 finalists for six awards. The winners of ADF Awards will be announced prior to National Arbor Day on April 26, 2019. Since 1972, the Foundation has presented annual awards for work at the international, national, state, and community levels to recognize conservation efforts such as tree planting and care, Arbor Day celebrations, education, community projects, and roadside beautification.

Remembering Brian Skinner

Brian at left with his children Melissa, Tracy, Kevin, and Brianne and six of his eight grandkids. Brian’s wife Diane took the photo.

If you haven’t had a chance to send in a reflection, editor Michelle will be happy to add it. Please send to editor@nysufc.org. 

There are two rich profiles of Brian on the blog that you might like to visit. A popular profile from 2014, and Brian’s reflections on his career from the time of his semi-retirement from National Grid. There’s also a post about Brian receiving the first-ever Heartwood Award for service to the Council. 

Read more…

Mary Martin’s Career Change within DEC

Urban Forestry Volunteer Coordinator Mary Martin has taken another position within DEC.
 
She says, “I was offered a civil service position with the Division of Water in the Floodplain Management section. I will be assisting communities statewide in adhering to FEMA standards to become or remain eligible in the National Flood Insurance Program. It is a completely different program, however there are some parallels with the Urban Forestry Program in terms of federal funding, educational workshops, and outreach opportunities. I just started last Thursday, so I’m still learning.”
 
Congrats to you, Mary. You have been such an asset to the DEC Urban Forestry program. We will miss you, but we know you will go far in your career, and we are cheering you on!