I love this picture so much. To me, it captures the exuberance of ReLeaf 2014. Let’s break down who’s who and also talk about the Thomas Jefferson statue. -Michelle Sutton, Ed. 


AnnaRELEAF 209 Carragee is the Forest Program Assistant for Cornell Cooperative Extension Syracuse. Anna works on Onondaga County’s Save the Rain program to provide street trees to properties around the city in order to beautify neighborhoods, provide environmental benefits, and reduce combined sewer overflow events. Prior to that, she was an urban forest technician for the City of Syracuse. Anna received her BS in Natural Resources: Resource Ecology from the University of Vermont and is working on her Master’s in Environmental Horticulture.


Kim Zhang is the Forestry Program Educator for CCE Onondaga County. Kim earned her Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from SUNY – College of Environmental Science and Forestry with a concentration in community planning. During her time in school she interned at Wave Hill, working with youth in forest restoration. Prior to starting at CCE on the Save the Rain program, Kim worked at New York Restoration Project on the MillionTreesNYC initiative, working with cemeteries, faith-based institutions, and NYS Department of Transportation to get trees planted throughout NYC. Since then, she has worked with citizens on community planning meetings, garden designs, and supervised the construction of community gardens. Kim really enjoys working with communities at large and hopes to improve neighborhoods through green infrastructure.

Steve Harris is the City-County Arborist for Syracuse, NY at City of Syracuse – Department of Parks, Recreation & Youth Programs. Prior to that he was an Urban Forestry Educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County. Steve has an AAS in Pre-Professional Forestry from Paul Smith’s College, a BS in Urban Geography from The Ohio State University, and an MS in Forest Resource Management from SUNY ESF. Steve is the newly elected Secretary for the NYSUFC and we are thrilled to have him on the Executive Committee!


RELEAF 208Hayley Kopelson is the Urban Forest Technician Aide at Syracuse Department of Parks, Recreation, and Youth Programs. Hayley is a graduate student in the Environmental Science department at SUNY ESF and is also working on completing a Certificate in Advanced Study in Conflict Resolution at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Her main interests pertain to urban greening, green psychology, green infrastructure, and public participation (especially when it comes to land use). She has comprehensive experience with ecological fieldwork in both limnology and herpetology, and she also has extensive knowledge and experience with dendrology and arboriculture.

RELEAF 549June MacArthur serves on the NYSUFC Board. She and her husband Phil serve extensively in leadership roles for the Oswego Tree Stewards. June has written poetry, non-fiction and fiction her whole life and has been published in camping magazines, newspapers, and regional magazines. She says, “I finally completed my BA in Creative Writing from SUNY Oswego in 2008, two years after we retired.” A great profile about June can be found right here on the TAKING ROOT blog.




Kristina Ferrare is a Resource Educator in Forestry for CCE Onondaga County. Kristina holds an MS in Forest Resources Management from the University of Massachusetts and a BS in History from Hamilton College. Her graduate work focused on developing a data management and reporting system to evaluate best management practices on timber sales for the U.S.D.A. Forest Service. Before coming to CCE, Kristina worked on private forest landowner outreach and education as well as land conservation programming for the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension. She is a native of Central NY. She is a new member of the NYSUFC Board. Welcome, Kristina!

About the Jefferson statue…
The groupHofstra_University,_Jefferson_statue posed with this statue of Thomas Jefferson resides outside of the Sondra and David S. Mack Student Center at Hofstra. Jefferson was a seminal statesman and renowned plantsman, but as has been well-documented, although he opposed slavery in speech, he owned more than 600 people in his life, according to Monticello.org. Partly in light of this troubling legacy, Hofstra students approached the University president in 2005 seeking a statue that would reflect a different legacy. From Hofstra’s website is the following text that describes what happened to bring this marvelous statue of Frederick Douglass to Hofstra in 2008.


“Hofstra University in conjunction with the Hofstra University Museum dedicated a new sculpture, Frederick Douglass Circle, on October 29, 2008, at the Monroe Lecture Center Courtyard, South Campus.

‘The drive for this sculpture came from a student referendum several years ago encouraging the University to invest in artwork that reflected the diversity of our campus,’ said President Rabinowitz. ‘Several individual students also came to speak to me to express their concerns over the statue of Thomas Jefferson on [the north] campus and the lack of any on-campus sculpture that celebrated diversity.’

In response to these requests, a committee was formed to select a sculpture that should be added to the campus to address diversity and the accomplishments of people of color. The committee, as part of its yearlong process, recommended a national competition that produced 26 submissions, resulting in five strong sculptural works by nationally recognized artists whose works were displayed in the Axinn Library for comments by the Hofstra community. Ultimately, Frederick Douglass Circle was chosen by President Rabinowitz based on recommendations from Hofstra University Museum Director Beth Levinthal ’73, ’75; Provost Herman Berliner; and students.

‘This singular outdoor sculpture cast in bronze, by the African American artist Vinnie Bagwell, commemorates one of the most prominent figures in African American and United States history, who was a steadfast believer in the equality of all people,’ said Ms. Levinthal. ‘Frederick Douglass Circle adds to the scope and significance of the Museum’s outdoor sculpture collection while it reaffirms Hofstra’s commitment to its diverse campus community.’

Students had an instrumental role in the selection of the work, and they felt that Frederick Douglass Circle should be the first sculpture with the theme of diversity to be placed on the Hofstra campus.”