July 24-26
at the Hilton Albany in Albany, NY

Register here

Apply for the NYS UFC Scholarship

Conference information (pdf)

  • Early registration until May 31
    • Full conference $170 ($145 members)
    • Thursday only $125 ($100 members)
  • Regular registration June 1 – June 30
    • Full conference $190 ($165 members)
    • Thursday only $145 ($120 members)
  • Late registration July 1 – July 14
    • Full conference $210 ($185 members)
    • Thursday only $165 ($140 members)
  • Student registration, full conference $75

Conference Purpose

New York ReLeaf is a state program promoting sound management and care of community trees across our state. It is a cooperative effort coordinated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the NYS Urban Forestry Council (NYSUFC), with major funding supplied through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (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 ReLeaf State Conference brings together interested parties from across the state to share experiences, ideas, and new information.

Join Us!

All tree enthusiasts are invited to attend this year’s ReLeaf Conference at the Hilton Albany. Trees can fix and mitigate issues ranging from climate change to stormwater management. Considering trees in all stages of community planning helps maximize their benefits. We’ll hear from speakers on how to plant trees properly. Attendees will also have the opportunity to network and exchange ideas with leading urban forestry specialists and professionals.

Continuing Education Credits

Continuing education credits may be available for members of the Society of American Foresters (SAF), International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), and Certified Nursery & Landscape Professional (CNLP) Program, and DEC-certified pesticide applicators. Information regarding which credits have been approved for applicable presentations will be posted on the NYSUFC website as it becomes available. Please check www.NYSUFC.org periodically for updated information or email [email protected] with any questions.

Conference Fees and Registration

The full conference fee includes refreshment breaks, lunches, tour transportation, the Thursday night picnic, and transportation to the picnic site. Please see the 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 fees are available upon request. Register by May 31, 2024, for an early registration discount.


Cancellations must be made by July 15, 2024, to receive a refund, less any administrative costs incurred. Substitution of participants is allowed.

Where to stay

This year’s conference is hosted by the Hilton Albany (40 Lodge Street, Albany, NY, 12207).  A room block is available:
Or call (800)-HILTONS and provide the code “1RC” to book reservations.

If the hotel block at the Hilton Albany has filled, there are many other hotels in downtown Albany. For a list please visit: www.albany.org/hotels/downtown/

Transportation information

Parking at the Hilton Albany is available in the garage next door at a special conference rate of $10 per day.

For other parking locations around Albany, please visit the Albany Parking Authority website.

For information on buses and public bicycles, please visit: www.albany.org/about/about-the-area/transportation-and-maps/capital-district-transportation-authority/

Tourism information – make it a weekend!

We encourage you to check out all the Capital Region has to offer and make a weekend out of your conference. Arrive early on Wednesday or stay Friday afternoon to explore some of the sites before and after the conference!

Top attractions in Albany can be found at www.albany.org/blog/post/must-see-attractions-for-first-time-visitors-to-albany/



2024 ReLeaf Conference Agenda

Wednesday, July 24

1:00 – 3:00 p.m. (East Gallery Event Room) Sponsor and vendor exhibit setup

3:00 – 5:30 p.m. (East Gallery) Attendee check-in opens

1:00 – 3:30 p.m. (Empire AB) NYS Urban Forestry Council Board meeting

4:00 – 5:30 p.m. Pre-conference activity – Mini TRAQ discussion with Mark Duntemann

6:00 – 7:00 p.m. (Empire AB) NYS Urban Forestry Council members meeting

7:00 – 9:00 p.m. (East Gallery) NYS Urban Forestry Council members reception

Thursday, July 25 Morning

7:30 a.m. (East Gallery) Attendee check-in opens

7:30 – 8:30 a.m. (East Gallery) Light breakfast for attendees

8:30 – 9:15 a.m. (Governor A) Welcome to ReLeaf 2024! Opening remarks

  • NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Interim Commissioner Sean Mahar
  • City of Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan
  • State Forester and DEC Division of Lands and Forests Director Fiona Watt
  • City of Albany Forestry Staff
  • DEC Urban and Community Forestry Program Coordinator Gloria Van Duyne
  • NYS Urban Forestry Council President Phil Healy

9:15 – 10:00 a.m. (Governor A) Keynote Address: “Urban Foresters: Stories From the Front Lines,” Leslie Berckes – Executive Director, Urban and Community Forestry Society

10:00 – 10:05 a.m. (Governor A) Exhibitor introductions

10:15 – 10:45 a.m. (East Gallery) Break – please visit our exhibitors and sponsors

10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Concurrent workshop sessions

  • Session A: (Anteroom) “Monitoring Urban Tree Life and Death,” Deb Hilbert, PhD – Owner, Many Trees Consulting, and Associate Professor, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF)
    and “A Century of Change in an Urban Forest,” Eliot Nagele – New Jersey Director of Lands, The Nature Conservancy
  • Session B: (Governor B) “Mastering Grant Writing for Urban Forestry and Ecological Projects,” Josh Behounek – Business Development Manager, Davey Resource Group
    and “NY Urban and Community Forestry Program Grants: Project Successes,” panel discussion with Robert Leslie – Director of Planning, Town of Bethlehem; Jay Lavigne – Arborist, City of Albany; and Paul Fahr – Tree Committee Member, City of Watervliet
  • Session C: (Chambers) “Lessons Learned Planting Trees in Environmental Justice Neighborhoods,” panel discussion with representatives from Community Fathers Inc. (Schenectady), Environmental Justice Fellowship (Newburgh), and Onondaga Earth Corps (Syracuse)
    and “Creating Sustainable Tree Equity Initiatives,” panel discussion with Kathy Lawrence – Board Chair, Greater Newburgh Parks Conservancy; Scott Kellogg, PhD – Educational Director, Radix Ecological Sustainability Center (Radix Center); Representative, Onondaga Earth Corps; and Kenneth Brooks – Assistant Director, Community Fathers Inc.

12:00 p.m. (Governor A) Lunch, and attendee check in closes

Thursday July 25 Afternoon

1:30 p.m. Board buses/vans for local tours at the front of the hotel. Buses/vans will leave promptly at 1:45 p.m. For those providing their own transportation or walking to the local sites for Tours 2 and 3, please arrive by 2 p.m.

2:00 – 4:30 p.m. Concurrent local tours

Tour 1: Albany Pine Bush Preserve
Tour 2: Washington Park
Tour 3: Radix Center
Tour 4: Showing of Uninvited at DEC Central Office

4:30 – 5:15 p.m. Return from tours and break

5:00 – 8:00 p.m. Dinner for all attendees at Common Roots Albany Outpost, 19 Quackenbush Square, Albany, NY 12207.

  • Walk to dinner or take a shuttle bus. Buses will run from the hotel to the dinner starting at 5:15 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., and make return trips from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Stop by the Albany Visitor Center next door at 25 Quackenbush Square, open 5–6 p.m. (special hours) for the conference.

Friday, July 26 Morning

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. (East Gallery) Breakfast for attendees

9:00 – 9:45 a.m. Concurrent workshops

  • Session D: (Anteroom) “Forests in Cities: Challenges and Opportunities to Achieving Healthy Forests in the Urban Context” Clara Pregitzer, Deputy Director of Conservation Science, Natural Areas Conservancy
  • Session E: (Governor B) “Models of Urban Forestry in the Capital District,” panel discussion with Steve Lashomb – Arborist, City of Saratoga Springs; Jonathon Marr – Tree Council Member, Town of Niskayuna; and Mark Marion – Village of Round Lake
  • Session F: (Chambers) “Analyzing Street Tree Diversity Over Redlining Districts in Schenectady, NY,” Allison Malatesta – Student, Union College; and Jeff Corbin, PhD – Professor, Union College
    and “Redlining and the Impacts of Environmental Racism in Syracuse,” Lemir Teron, PhD – Associate Professor, Howard University

9:45. – 10:00 a.m. (East Gallery) Break, please visit our exhibitors and sponsors

10:15 – 11:00 a.m. Concurrent workshops:

  • Session G: (Anteroom) “Research Update From NYS DEC’s Forest and Ecosystem Health Lab,” Amanda Dillon – Lab Manager, DEC
  • Session H: (Governor B) “Tree City USA – A Field Manual,” – Leanna Nugent, Community Forestry Educator, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County
  • Session I: (Chambers) “Overcoming Obstacles to Equitable Tree Planting,” panel discussion with Lemir Teron, PhD – Associate Professor, Howard University; Betsy Henry, PhD – President, ReTree Schenectady; Kate Littlefield – Program Manager, Onondaga Earth Corps; and Kathryn McKenzie – Former Newburgh Environmental Justice Fellow and board member, Greater Newburgh Parks Conservancy

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (Governor A) Closing session “Women in Urban Forestry: Today and Tomorrow,” panel discussion with Fiona Watt – Division of Lands and Forests Director and State Forester, DEC; Danielle Gift – Urban and Community Forestry Program Manager, Northeast, USDA Forest Service; Lori Brockelbank – Area Manager, Davey Resource Group; and Jeanne Grace – City Forester, City of Ithaca

12:00 p.m. (East Gallery) Grab-and-go lunch available

1:00 p.m. Conference ends

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.

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