NYSDEC State Forester Rob Davies opened the Tree City/Campus/Line USA celebration by acknowledging the difficulties of 2020 and the way in which nearly all recreation had to move outside, bringing further awareness to the critical importance of urban and community trees and green spaces. He quoted his colleague, Texas State Forester Tom Boggus, “Trees are the answer. What’s your question?” It’s a simple addendum that can generate an endless list in one’s mind about how many problems tree solve and needs they address for human and other beings. Davies also talked about a statement he hears frequently among his colleagues: “All Climate, All the Time.” Davies said, “That can seem overwhelming, but our forests and trees will play a key role and our program participants like those here today are primed and ready to help meet the challenges of climate change.”
Watertown Planner and Council Board Member Michael DeMarco presented on the Watertown Downtown Arboretum, home to more than 30 taxa of trees, some mature, and including an experimental swamp white oak hybrid from the Cornell Horticulture Institute. The Watertown Farm and Craft market is held in the Arboretum from May to October, and the beauty of the trees contributes to folks lingering and shopping in the tree-shaded downtown. You can read more about the Watertown Downtown Arboretum, including interpretation and map, here and in a future blog post.
College of St Rose Instructor and Science Education Problem Based Learning Coordinator Mary Cosgrove presented about the myriad partnerships among the above entities underway in Albany using trees as the focus of science learning. One of them is the national Project Learning Tree environmental education program, which you can learn about here.
National Grid Arborist and Lead Supervisor for Distribution Forestry for the Central Division of National Grid Jim Maloney presented on the many ways the utility is involved in the community, including through its 10,000 Trees Program.
New York State Urban Forestry Council President Karen Emmerich spoke about the Council’s activities in 2020, including providing Tree City USA Reward grants of $1000 toward a specimen or grove planting celebration to communities that have been Tree Cities for more than five years. The competitive grants are meant to encourage communities to maintain their Tree City USA status and proved popular judging by the number of applicants.
You can view the recording of the New York Tree City USA Recognition Event here. *Please note it is a large video file, and a high speed connection is recommended, if you encounter issues streaming it try a different computer or internet connection