By Lewis Cutler

I am pleased to announce that Manuel A. Alarcon, a senior at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF), was awarded the Helen Sternberg Cutler Memorial Scholarship in Urban Forestry for 2018. He will be graduating with a BS in Forest Resources Management. He is exactly the kind of recipient to honor the memory of my mother, Helen Cutler, who was always planting trees in urban environments. 

“Manuel has been able to take advantage of the opportunities here at ESF to develop his forestry skills. As a student from New York City, he should be able to continue to develop his knowledge and abilities in urban forestry,” says David Newman, PhD, Professor of Resource Economics and Policy in the Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management at SUNY-ESF in Syracuse, NY.

While in high school, Manuel’s interest in urban forestry started when he volunteered at the New York Botanical Garden, working with the New Youth Conservationists on trail maintenance and other activities in Bronx Park. “At the time, I didn’t think much of it, as I was just doing it for volunteer hours. But looking back on it, I realized it was something I enjoyed and my first real experience working in an urban park,” notes Manuel.

In the summer of 2017, Manuel showed his strong interest in urban forestry when he was a horticulture intern with the Friends of the Highline in Manhattan. He has conducted field studies at the SUNY-ESF Ranger School in Wanakena and was a volunteer at the Lehman Edible Garden at Lehman College in the Bronx. In addition, during the fall semester of 2017, Manuel volunteered twice planting urban trees as part of Cornell Cooperative Extension’s “Save the Rain” program.

His current plans involve being an urban forester in a large city like NYC. He would also like to add arboriculture and horticulture skills to his growing experience.

Congratulations to Manuel!