Young people shone extra bright at the 2019 ReLeaf Conference, injecting energy and enthusiasm into the gathering.

After Onondaga Earth Corps (OEC) Director Greg Michel presented about the OEC mission and programming, OEC youth spoke about their experiences. Pictured here, Onondaga Earth Corps Crew Leader Tajuddin (Taj) shared from the heart about his connection to nature and concerns for the environment.

Young Adult Crew Member Jahkella is new to Onondaga Earth Corps and spoke about what she hopes to learn this season.

At 15, Youth Crew Member Daquan is just getting started with OEC.

OEC Youth Crew Member Tigist spoke about her work this summer.

OEC Young Adult Crew Member Rubin reflected on how his present work with OEC could impact his future direction.

A glorious, massive white oak (Quercus alba) on the Mount Saint Mary campus. For perspective, note benches at base of tree.

Attendees mixed and mingled at the Thursday evening reception.

Arborist John Madden (who said he is, indeed, a cousin of football’s John Madden) enthusiastically leads the Urban Forestry/Arboriculture program at Putnam County BOCES for students aged 15-25. Students earn college credits and complete industry certifications while learning career skills and making industry connections through internships and projects.

Beloved Council President Karen Emmerich (left) is a dynamic leader who also knows how to bring levity to Board meetings. Luckily for us all, she agreed to serve a second term!