You may recognize this year’s Heartwood Award winner as the author of the meticulously researched and lively document, “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.” Part 1 is available on the Council’s website, and its author is busy writing Part 2. The History is engrossing, answering such questions as,

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

🌳 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?

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

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

🌳 How did three Texans help NYS get a huge jump in funding for its urban forestry program?!

The author of this seminal document is, of course, Nancy A. Wolf.

Nancy is a longtime Environmental Education Consultant for JLN WOLF, Inc. She was the Executive Director of the NYC-based Environmental Action Coalition from 1978-1994; the NYS ReLeaf Volunteer Coordinator from 1992-1995; and she has served the NYSUFC in various ways since its founding in 1999.

In addition to the History she’s been writing, Nancy contributes terrific blog posts to the Council website about events that come out of her work with NYC youth. For more than 25 years, she has been the environmental education consultant and the facilitator of the NYC Arbor Day project that provides trees for schools to plant. For just as long, Nancy has also organized Green Horizons, an annual careers day event for middle school students, where 50 green industry professionals donate their time to lead career activities for more than 200 students and teachers or guidance counselors.

In a terrific Council blog profile of Nancy from 2014, she said, “My favorite thing is working directly with kids, no matter what the project, and I feel extremely fortunate to work closely with so many wonderful colleagues.” We encourage you to read that profile, as it contains so much more background about Nancy and her contributions, and great photos of Nancy with her grandkids and other loved ones.

New York City and New York State urban and community forestry efforts owe a great deal to Nancy’s steadfast commitment to the field. The Council gratefully builds on the work Nancy did as its first president. Congrats to Nancy Wolf, recipient of this year’s NYSUFC Heartwood Award.