Stay Tuned to the Blog and Newsletter for Information about NY ReLeaf 2023 in July on Long Island


The 2022 New York ReLeaf Conference was held July 21-23 in Watertown at Jefferson Community College

Conference Program

Conference registration is now closed

Conference Purpose

New York ReLeaf is a state program promoting management and care of our state’s community trees. It is a cooperative effort coordinated by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the NYS Urban Forestry Council (NYSUFC). with major funding supplied through the USDA Forest Service. The goal of New York ReLeaf is to create partnerships among tree professionals, citizen volunteers, educators, government, and the private sector. The annual State Conference brings together these interested parties from across the state’s nine regions to share experiences, ideas, and new information.

“Trees Bring Us Together”

All tree enthusiasts are invited to the 29th Annual NYS ReLeaf Conference to be held July 21-23, at Jefferson Community College in Watertown, New York. You won’t be disappointed! We are excited to return in person and bring tree people from across the state together again. Our theme is “Trees Bring Us Together.” Partnerships are critically important to successful projects in urban forestry, and we’ll hear from speakers on how to find and build strong inclusive partnerships in your community. Networking time provides the opportunity to exchange ideas with leading urban forestry specialists and professionals.

Continuing Education Credits

Continuing education credits will be available for applicable presentations for DEC pesticide, Society of American Foresters (SAF), International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), Certified Nursery & Landscape Professional (CNLP), American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), and Landscape Architect (LA). Moderators of sessions will have continuing education program information and sign-in sheets at the conference. For more information on credits that have been approved, please check or email

Campus Information

Please refer to the campus map at this link.
Parking will be available free of charge at Jefferson Community College.

Conference Fees and Registration

The conference fee(s) includes refreshment breaks, lunches, barbecue picnic and resource packet. The dorm fee includes breakfast and linens for those attendees staying overnight on campus. See registration form for details and pricing for conference registration (one day or the full event), lodging, meals etc. Please submit one registration form per attendee. Receipts for registration and dorm fees paid are available upon request. Register before June 1 for an early bird discount.


Those cancelling at least seven calendar days prior to the conference will be entitled to a refund, less any administrative costs incurred. Thereafter, no refunds will be made. Substitution of participants is allowed.

Additional places to stay in town

If you would prefer a hotel room to the campus dorms there are several hotels available in the City of Watertown. For a complete list please visit:

Tourism information – make it a weekend!

Watertown is the gateway to the Thousand Islands region and there is plenty to do and see in the area. We encourage you to check out all the region has to offer and make a weekend out of your conference. Arrive early on Thursday or stick around Saturday afternoon and explore some of the sites before and after the conference!

Zoo New York in Thompson Park:
Tourism information and local events calendar:
Visit Watertown tourism information:
City of Watertown local events calendar:
Black River Trail State Park:
Boldt Castle:
Rafting on the Black River:
City of Watertown Downtown Arboretum:

Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible State or local Agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information is also available in languages other than English.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

2022 ReLeaf Conference Agenda

Thursday, July 21

1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Sponsor and Vendor Exhibit Set up

3:00 – 5:30 p.m. Attendee check in

1:00 – 3:30 p.m. NYS Urban Forestry Council Board Meeting

4:00 – 5:30 p.m. Pre-conference activity

6:00 – 7:00 p.m. NYS Urban Forestry Council Members Meeting

7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Council Members Reception

Friday, July 22 Morning

7:00 – 8:30 a.m. Breakfast for overnight guests

7:30 a.m. Attendee check in opens

8:30 a.m. Welcome to ReLeaf 2022! DEC Urban Forestry and NYS UFC opening remarks

8:45 – 9:15 a.m. Host City Plenary Mike Demarco, City Planner, City of Watertown, Tree Watertown member, NYSUFC Board member

9:15 – 10:00 a.m. “Optimizing urban forests for climate and public health” (Keynote) Ian Leahy, Vice president of urban forestry, American Forests

10:15 – 10:45 a.m. Break – please visit our exhibitors

10:45 – 11:25 a.m. Lightning round panel highlighting community projects this year

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Concurrent workshop sessions

Session A: “The giving tree was right: all the ways you benefit from urban trees” Dr. Donald A. Rakow, Associate professor in the School of Integrative Plant Science Horticulture Section at Cornell University
Session B: “Organizing successful volunteer tree projects” Betsy Henry, ReTree Schenectady and representative from Watertown Rotary
Session C: “Biophillic school sites for Syracuse NY” Emanuel Carter, MRP, Associate Professor, Director, SUNY Center for UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Studies Department of Landscape Architecture, SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry and Justin  Kwiatkowski, MS, Landscape Designer, EDR Companies

12:30 p.m. Lunch, and attendee check in closes

Friday July 22 Afternoon

1:30 – 2:00p.m. Board buses for local tours, or break if remaining for on campus workshop

2:00 – 4:30 p.m. Concurrent local tours and on-site workshop

Tour 1 Thompson Park Tour
Tour 2 Downtown Watertown Arboretum and History Tour
Michael A. Lumbis, Planning and Community Development Director, City of Watertown and Dr. Jason White, MD FAFFP, Chairman of Advantage Watertown and Tree Watertown Member.
Session F “Tree pest impacts on Community Forest health” Andréa Nieves, Education and Outreach Coordinator, and Rob Cole, Forester, Bureau of Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health
“It’s all about the trees – and more: Building a campus culture for sustainability.” Tour of JCC projects with Bruce Alexander, Director of Administrative Services for JCC, and Michael D. Altieri, PE, Principle/Civil Engineer, BCA Architects and Engineers

4:30 – 5:00 p.m. Return from tours, break, and meet buses for transport to picnic

5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Travel to Thompson Park for picnic dinner

Saturday, July 23

7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Breakfast for overnight guests

8:00 a.m. Overnight guest check out opens

8:30 – 9:45 a.m. Concurrent workshops

Session G “The challenges and opportunities to increase tree canopy in low canopy neighborhoods” Cimone Jordan, Director of Housing and Neighborhood Planning, City of Syracuse and Stephen Harris, City Arborist, Syracuse Parks Department
Session H “Responding and Adapting to the Ecological Impacts of EAB in the Akwesasne Mohawk Territory” Normand Genier, Tribal Forester, Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe “Black ash basketry, a link to the past” Angello Johnson, Land Resource Technician, Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe

9:45. – 10:00 a.m. Break, please visit our exhibitors!

10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Concurrent workshops:

Session I “Enhancing Urban Forest Resiliency” Megan Pistolese- Shaw, Education and Outreach Coordinator, and Robert Smith, Terrestrial Restoration Resilience Coordinator, both with SLELO PRISM
Session J “Preserving and improving City of Utica’s Olmstead Designed Parks through partnership with Central New York Conservancy” L.D. Terry Hawkridge, Central NY Conservancy Board Member

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. “Status of NYS Municipal Urban Forest Management Program – Preliminary Findings” Rebecca Hargrave, Associate professor of Environmental science and Arboriculture at SUNY Morrisville and Ph.D student in Forest resources and Arboriculture at University of Massachusetts Amherst

12:15 p.m. Grab and Go Lunch available

1:00 p.m. Overnight guest check out closes, Conference ends
See you next year in Long Island!

Getting to Watertown

Directions provided by JCC:

Driving directions

From all points south, including Buffalo, Rochester, Utica, and Albany: take NYS Thruway (I-90) to exit 36, 81N/Watertown. Follow 81N to Exit 46, Coffeen Street. Turn right onto Coffeen Street. Turn left at the second light onto the JCC Campus.

From all points north:
If coming from Rte. 11: Take Rte. 11S to Rte. 342. Turn right onto Rte. 342. Take Rte. 342 to 81S. Follow 81S to Exit 46, Coffeen Street. Turn left onto Coffeen Street. Go over the bridge over 81. Turn left at the third light.

If coming from Rte. 3: Take Rte. 3E into Watertown. Turn right onto Rte. 3S, State Street. Follow Rte. 3S, State Street. Bear right in the traffic circle (Public Square) following the signs for Rte. 3. Turn right onto Massey Street. Turn left at the first light, Coffeen Street. Follow Coffeen Street past the County Fair Grounds and turn right at the Jefferson Community College sign.

Public transportation

There is not direct train service to Watertown, however Amtrak offers train service to the Syracuse Regional Transportation Center. Contact Amtrak online at or at 1-800-USA-RAIL (1- 800-872-7245) or TDD/TTY (1-800-523-6590).

From the Syracuse Regional Transportation Center passengers can ride the Trailways bus to Watertown. Trailways provides bus transportation to Watertown twice daily. For times and prices, contact the Trailways Call Center at 800-858-8555 or online

The Watertown bus terminal is located approximately two miles from campus at 540 State Street (telephone 800-776-7548). The following taxi services provide reliable transportation from the Watertown bus terminal (located at 540 State Street) to JCC.

  • W.E.R Yellow Cab – 315-804-6261 or 1-800-436-4131
  • Big Man’s Cab – 315-778-8241

Airport information

Watertown International Airport (Dexter, NY) is approximately 5 miles from campus (less than 10 minutes). Alternatively, Syracuse Hancock International Airport is approximately one hour south of Watertown. Most major airlines fly into Syracuse. If you are arriving by plane in Syracuse you can use the Trailways Bus Service to get from the airport to Watertown (see the Trailways information above).

Subscribe to TAKING ROOT, the monthly e-news of the NYSUFC

Contact Us

NYS Urban Forestry Council
136 Everett Road, NY 12205

Our Partners