You can count on Mike Duran-Mitchell to live-tweet important events in urban forestry, like our own NY ReLeaf Conference at Hofstra on Long Island last July and the recent Partners in Community Forestry (PCF) Conference in Charlotte. Mike is the Director of Tree Giveaways for the New York Restoration Project. Here’s a short reflection by Mike on the PCF Conference followed by some of his tweets, which are infectiously enthusiastic.
Mike Duran-Mitchell: This year’s Partners in Community Forestry (PCF) conference, held in Charlotte, NC, was a wonderful opportunity to forge broad partnerships and share best practices from across the country. The challenge, issued by Arbor Day Foundation’s Dan Lambe at the beginning of the conference, was to think about your program through a “what if?” context.
Whether it was the NYS Urban Forestry Council’s own Andy Hillman sharing an anonymous quote comparing the pain of “a trained volunteer who leaves” to the “untrained volunteer who stays,” a trip to the Bartlett Tree Lab to watch researchers chop up container-grown tree rootballs with an ax, or Dr. David Howlett at the Nevada Division of Forestry describing the results from researching biochar as a street tree planting medium, best practices were revealed to us through the “what ifs?” of programs involving planting, maintenance, stewardship, and many other aspects of urban and community forestry.
Aside from the “what if?” challenge, the other challenge issued from the keynote speaker, Peter Kageyama, was to have fun. Or, as Peter said about how we can improve the experience of living in our cities, “There is no emotional return on fixing potholes. Ask for art. Ask for beauty. Ask for trees.” I would encourage all of our colleagues who are part of the NYSUFC (and even those who are not a part of NYSUFC) to attend next year’s PCF in Denver, CO, where I’m sure even more groundbreaking urban forestry practices will be highlighted. You can find out more about the Partners in Community Forestry conference by following @PartnersCF on twitter or by visiting this Arbor Day Foundation site.