Joe Charap on the Municipal Forestry Institute

Green-Wood Cemetery Director of Horticulture and Curator and Council Board Member Joe Charap received scholarship assistance from the Council to attend the 2018 Municipal Forestry Institute in Litchfield, Connecticut. MFI 2019 in Silverton, Oregon: registration is underway!

What were the most valuable aspects of MFI for you?

I valued the chance to speak informally with the teaching cadre members, learn from their experiences, and ask them questions.

It was also fantastic to meet my colleagues from around the country; it gave me perspective and new ideas for potential solutions to the challenges I face in my work. I also got a deeper sense of the diversity of roles within the field of urban forestry and the impact our field has on city planning.

The role-playing session with Rosa Linda Perez on communicating with the press was excellent. I learned some new skills for interacting with the media around sensitive issues—I feel more confident knowing I can reference those skills should the situation arise.

What was one of your biggest takeaways?

It’s important for any urban forestry program—be it that of a cemetery, municipality, or other entity within the urban forest—to have a clear program identity and brand. Whether starting a program from scratch or taking over the supervision of an existing one, it’s important to have a vision—and to have a strategy to build it.

Any last words?

I sincerely appreciate and want to thank the Council for sponsoring me to attend MFI! Thank you for investing in my professional education, which will help me be a better Council Board Member, as well.