Board Member Danielle Gift on ReLeaf 2018 & Her New Position

Council Board Member Danielle Gift with a Parrotia persica on the RIT campus. Photo by Michelle Sutton

Danielle Gift received a scholarship from the New York City/Region 2 ReLeaf Committee, of which she is an active member, to pay for ReLeaf registration and lodging. Get involved with your region’s ReLeaf Committee

Danielle Gift: 

“This year’s Annual New York ReLeaf Conference was one of my favorites to date! The Region 8 committee did a fantastic job of providing a great mix of workshops and field tours on a variety of topics, and all of the speakers were incredible engaging and knowledgeable.

At NYC Parks I’ve recently transitioned from Manager of Special Urban Forestry Projects to Tree Preservation Senior Project Manager. Although many of my special projects came with me to this new position, I now have a stronger focus on tree presentation, and this conference had something important and applicable in each session. It was exciting for me to see these workshops through a different lens—the tree preservation lens. With that in mind, there were three highlights for me: the Keynote on New York Tree Law, the picnic at Olmsted-designed Genesee Valley Park, and the Saturday Service Project, which focused on a Trees for Tribs restoration site in an area hit hard by Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). 

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ReLeaf 2018 at RIT, Part V: Learning from the Best

These are just some of the talented professionals who presented talks and workshops at ReLeaf 2018. You can see the full program here

NY Natural Heritage Program Ecologist Julie Lundgren served on the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid panel following the superb documentary about HWA: www.youtube.com/watch?v=AupnMjYaI0Q Photo by Michelle Sutton
Cornell Extension Associate Mark Whitmore (left) features prominently in the HWA documentary and served on the panel afterwards. Here, he is introducing silver flies that predate on HWA to hemlocks with students Ky Barnett and Tracy Yardley. Photo Cornell Chronicle
Hilary Mosher is the Finger Lakes Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM) Program Coordinator. She served on the HWA panel with Julie Lundgren and Mark Whitmore.

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Rochester ReLeaf Beckons: New York’s First EcoDistrict

One of ReLeaf 2018’s (July 26-28 in Rochester) Saturday morning workshops is “EcoDistricts: Resilient and Sustainable Cities from the Neighborhood Up.” Rochester’s High Falls neighborhood is the site of the first registered EcoDistrict in the State of New York. The international EcoDistricts organization provides the protocol for EcoDistricts. Leadership for the EcoDistrict at High Falls is provided within Rochester-based nonprofit, Greentopia, which is also working to develop a High Line-style Garden Aerial around the Genesee River Gorge. EcoDistrict Coordinator Rachel Walsh will be presenting on the exciting new EcoDistrict at High Falls.

Values of the EcoDistrict: 

  • Neighborhoods and districts are the building blocks of sustainable cities.
  • Everybody – regardless of class, race, age, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation – deserves to live in a healthy, safe, connected and vibrant neighborhoods.
  • Economic opportunity, community well-being, and ecological health are fundamental ingredients for sustainable neighborhoods and cities.
  • Neighborhood sustainability requires a new model for action – rooted in collaboration and greater inclusion – to co-create innovative district-scale projects.
  • Social equity, inclusion, and democracy are essential to sustainable neighborhood development.

Hudson Valley ReLeaf Workshop Went Back to Basics

Tree planting Millbrook Oct 12 2017
Planting a ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) in Millbrook. Photo by Karen Emmerich

On Thursday, October 12, 2017 Hudson Valley ReLeaf and NYSDEC held a workshop called “Back to Basics” hosted at CCE Dutchess County in Millbrook. Sessions were given on tree biology, tree planting specifications, young tree pruning, and insects and diseases impacting forest health. Four esteemed professionals led the sessions: NYSDEC’s Jason Denham, CCE Nassau County’s Vinnie Drzewucki, the New York Tree Trust’s James Kaechele, and NYSDEC Region 3 Senior Forester George Profous. The day culminated in the planting of a ginkgo tree in downtown Millbrook as part of a tree planting demo conducted by Profous. All this for $25! Keep an eye out for ReLeaf workshops in your area.

Hudson Valley ReLeaf is part of a statewide program managed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Bureau of Private Land Services. Funding is provided by the Urban and Community Forestry Program. Volunteer members of Hudson Valley ReLeaf include interested citizens, forestry professionals, representatives of environmental non-profits, and government officials.

Queens Botanical Garden Tour at ReLeaf

Queens BG green roof Harriet Grimm
ReLeafers toured the green roof at Queens Botanical Garden. From QBG website: “The semi-intensive, 8,000-square-foot green roof with six inches of growing medium is planted with mostly native species that require minimal artificial watering and provide much-needed habitat for humans, birds, and insects.” Photo by Harriet Grimm

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Located at the northeast corner of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Flushing, QBG evolved from the five-acre “Gardens on Parade” exhibit showcased at the 1939-1940 New York World’s Fair. Officially opening as “The Queens Botanical Garden Society” in 1946 after local residents saved and expanded the original exhibit, the Garden remained at the original World’s Fair site until 1961, when it was moved to its current location on Main Street in Flushing. Among the original plantings taken from the 1939 site are two blue atlas cedars that frame the iconic tree gate sculpture at the Garden’s Main Street entrance today. QBG has become a 39-acre oasis in one of New York City’s most bustling and diverse neighborhoods.

-From QBG website

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Countdown to ReLeaf! In Queens, at St. John’s, July 13-15

St John's entrance
It’s not too late to register for ReLeaf 2017!
Queensboro bridge
There’s a fantastic blog post about Queens on the New York Habitat blog. “While not as flashy as the skyscrapers of Manhattan, Queens boasts many beautiful landmarks. The Queensboro Bridge is a true icon, and connects Midtown Manhattan to Long Island City in Queens.”

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NYSDEC Urban Forestry Intern Jennifer Kotary: Get to Know Her!

Jennifer KotaryIn 2016, NYSDEC Urban Forestry Program Coordinator Mary Kramarchyk mentored her second summer intern, Jennifer Kotary. “The goal of the internship is to expose and recruit forestry students into the world of urban forestry,” Kramarchyk says. “Jennifer’s excellent technical and communication skills helped her fit right into DEC’s program. She was thrown into and completed real work—and “extra” activities so meaningful to the success of the program—that, without her, we would not have been able to accomplish.”

Jennifer Kotary:
Two days after my graduation (’16) from SUNY ESF’s Ranger School, I began at NYSDEC via the Research Foundation in the Urban and Community Forestry summer internship. A connection with Mary Kramarchyk at the New York Society of American Foresters Annual Meeting was the beginning to an internship opportunity to better my understanding of what urban forestry is in action. Now that this internship comes to a close, I realize that as urban forestry initiates and sustains connection between community and the environment, my internship has connected me to a critical passion of mine which includes all things trees.

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ESF Ranger School Graduation, where Jennifer celebrates her proudest moment with Director Dr. Michael Bridgen. Photo by June McWarf

People. Urban forestry has connected me to people. I am so thankful to Mary Kramarchyk, Mary Martin, and Sally Kellogg who took me under their wing and amazed me with their adaptive ability to joyfully get done a plethora of responsibilities for the state program. Via statewide ReLeaf meetings, I witnessed the individual personalities of ReLeaf committees flourishing in each New York region. Exposure to NYS DEC’s Bureau of Lands and Forests and the great group of people assisting in statewide forestry is continually inspiring. Lastly, I met an impressive slew of tree-related individuals via the summer’s ReLeaf Conference at Skidmore College.

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2016 NYS ReLeaf Conference Preview!

 

***Save the Dates for the 24th Annual ReLeaf Conference!***
July 14-16, 2016 at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York

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Preliminary Program for 2016 ReLeaf Saratoga Springs: 

Lantern Lead Tour at Skidmore Campus
Forest Health Update
City Woods
A Grove of Grants: UCF Community Grants and Arbor Day Grants
DEC Saratoga Nursery Tour
Tools of the Trade
Tree Planting Project Case Studies
Picnic at Skidmore College
Roadside Plants and Invasives
Fruits of the Urban Forest
Sustainable Skidmore Tour
Stewardship Projects
Technology Workshop for All

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