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Partners in Community Forestry


Washington D.C.

October 16-20, 2023

2022 Conference Agenda

All conference sessions will be hosted at the Westin Seattle unless otherwise noted.

date  Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022

  • 7:00 a.m. –5:00 p.m. Registration Open
  • 7:30 –8:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast With Exhibitors included with conference registration
  • 8:30–9:20 a.m. Welcome to Seattle!

    Join Dan Lambe for his annual challenge speech, along with welcome speakers from local First Nations, the USDA Forest Service, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, and the City of Seattle.

    Dan Lambe, Arbor Day Foundation & invited guests
    Dan Lambe is the Chief Executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. Under Dan's leadership as president, the Foundation grew to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees. He was appointed as Chief Executive in January 2022, ahead of the Foundation's 50th anniversary. During his 17 years with the Foundation, he has led the development of innovative programs that expand the organization's global reach, including international forest restoration efforts. Over the course of his tenure, Dan has become a trusted resource for corporate sustainability leaders and the media alike, serving as a frequent resource for publications such as CNN, NPR, Popular Science, and Fast Company.

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  • 9:30–10:05 a.m. A Framework for Adapting Our Urban Forests to a Changing Climate

    The Urban Forestry Climate Change Response Framework examines urban forest vulnerability and creates tools to help urban forestry managers and partners adapt to the effects of climate change. Participants will be introduced to our process for conducting urban forest climate vulnerability assessments, the new Climate Adaptation Actions for Urban Forests & Human Health report, an adaptation 'menu,' and an overview of resources that support climate adaptation in urban and community forests.

    Maddy Baroli, Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science
    Maddy Baroli is a Climate Adaptation Specialist with the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science. She supports a variety of natural resource managers through the process of climate change adaptation planning, with a special focus on urban & community forestry. Maddy is passionate about the intersections of climate change, forestry, and social equity. She completed her master's degree in Forest Conservation at the University of Toronto and worked briefly on community forestry efforts with the City and County of Honolulu before assuming her current role.

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  • 9:30–10:05 a.m. From Enraged to Engaged: Harnessing Volunteers to Achieve Policy Changes

    On June 25, 2021, Chicago's City Council unanimously passed an Urban Forestry Advisory Board ordinance. But passage only happened after a sustained advocacy campaign on behalf of TreeKeeper volunteers who repeatedly contacted their respective Alders to push for the ordinance, which had previously stalled in City Council. Learn how Openlands prepared TreeKeepers and other concerned citizens to lobby their elected officials to finally pass the Urban Forestry Advisory Board ordinance and how this sustained advocacy campaign finally succeeded.

    Al De Reu, Openlands
    Al De Reu is the TreeKeepers Program Manager and a Certified Arborist. TreeKeepers is in its 31st year, having trained over 2,300 volunteers in the Chicago area. Prior to joining Openlands, Al was a Senior Editor in education publishing working on math textbooks for 12 years. He studied forestry before earning his degree in math and minor in Spanish. His focus is on training volunteers, combining ecology and education, and expanding the TreeKeepers Program.

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  • 9:30–10:05 a.m. Lightning Round: Technology Update session includes four 7-minute presentations on a single topic
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    Creating the World's First Machine Learning Street Tree Inventory

    Tree inventories have evolved from pen and paper to GIS-based and beyond. Today we are able to confidently and cost-effectively conduct street tree inventories using machine learning and Google Street view. This presentation will demonstrate which applications are right for machine learning, and we will share recent case study results from California where we mapped 400,000 trees in three weeks with 95% accuracy. Leveraging machine learning street tree inventories can unlock huge potential for proactive maintenance with real-time data.

    Josh Behounek, Davey Resource Group
    Josh Behounek is an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist, Municipal Specialist, and is Tree Risk Assessment Qualified. He is the Business Development Manager for the Davey Resource Group (but prefers the title Theoretical Arborist) who works throughout the U.S. and internationally, was previously an Adjunct Professor at the University of Missouri, and is on SMA's Municipal Forestry Institute teaching cadre. He has experience inventorying, climbing, planting, pruning, mulching, spraying, writing about, and hugging trees.

    A Scalable Remote Sensing Model for Urban Forest Health Inventory

    Urban trees mitigate heat, clean air and water, and provide residents with an improvement in general well-being. However, trees are threatened by climate change, disease, invasive species, and land-use change. The ability to inventory public and private trees using remote sensing can provide urban forest managers with a faster, cheaper, and more efficient way to inventory trees -- including tree species identification and health assessment -- to help ease the burden of managing local tree stock.

    Jonathan Ocón, University of California-Los Angeles
    Jon Ocón is a current Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Geography at UCLA. He specializes in remote sensing of the environment with a particular interest in socio-ecological systems. Jon also engages students in best practices in geographic information science and software (such as ArcGIS and QGIS), geospatial programming (ArcPy, Python, R, and Google Earth Engine), and cartography.

    Urban Tree Water Use and Implications for Stormwater Management

    In this study, we investigated the influence of management context on the transpiration of red maple, sweetgum, and tulip poplar species as well as the relationship between environmental drivers (soil moisture and vapor pressure deficit) and tree transpiration. We found significantly lower sap flux density in closed-canopy trees, compared to solitary trees. Species differences in sap flux density were observed at the daily time-scale, with tulip poplar being the most sensitive to drought.

    Sarah Ponte, University of Maryland
    Sarah Ponte is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Environmental Science & Technology. Her research interests include urban ecology, social-ecological systems, and green infrastructure, and her dissertation is focused on socio-ecological processes and dynamics of urban forests in Maryland. Specifically, how the management of urban trees influence their hydrological function as a stormwater mitigation approach and how stewardship organizations shape green stormwater infrastructure and tree canopy distribution.

    Tree Equity: How i-Tree is Helping

    How do you decide where to put a tree? If equity is one of your goals you need to know more than just where there is a sidewalk cut-out. This presentation will highlight the data that you can get through i-Tree to support greater equity in the distribution of trees and tree canopy. Case studies will be shared capturing how i-Tree can help cities identify the need for more trees, help guide planting campaigns, and provide data to fill in gaps in our understanding of what tree equity means.

    Jason Henning, The Davey Institute
    Jason Henning is a Research Urban Forester with the Davey Institute, in a collaborative position with the USDA Forest Service's Philadelphia Urban Field Station. Since 2012, Jason has been a member of the team supporting communities in the application of the i-Tree suite of tools. He has coauthored various peer reviewed research papers focused on the assessment of trees from urban spaces to rural forests. The thread that ties together Jason's work is his interest in the application science to get the most trees where they do the most good.

  • 10:05–10:35 a.m. Beverage & Networking Break With Exhibitors included with conference registration
  • 10:35–11:10 a.m. A Model for How Nonprofit Organizations Can Initiate Citywide Change

    Nonprofit and community-based organizations are often the leaders in encouraging cities to improve urban forest management to address systemic environmental justice issues and climate change impacts. However, getting a city to act can be difficult. This session explores the process City Plants has taken to successfully work with the City of Los Angeles in identifying how the city can improve tree management, funding mechanisms to support tree management, and the role nonprofit organizations should play in the management plan process.

    Ryan Allen, Dudek | Mara Basich-Pease, HR&A Advisors | Rachel O'Leary, City Plants
    Ryan Allen is an urban forester with 14 years of experience providing strategic environmental planning to organizational programs. His work deepens the positive impact on the communities he serves and increases organizational capacity. Ryan leads Dudek's Urban Forest Management team which has completed projects with various cities throughout California including Los Angeles, San Jose, Beverly Hills, and others. He has a background in community-based environmental programs and served as the chair for the Los Angeles Community Forest Advisory Committee.

    Mara Basich-Pease is a Senior Analyst at HR&A Advisors, an industry-leading consulting firm that uses economic analysis and implementation planning to create vital places, build more equitable and resilient communities, and improve people's lives. At HR&A, Mara recently supported efforts to identify and recommend sufficient, sustainable, and equitable funding mechanisms for long-term growth and maintenance of the urban forest as part of the Los Angeles Urban Forest Financing Study.

    Rachel O'Leary serves as the Executive Director for City Plants, an urban forestry nonprofit organization founded by the City of Los Angeles. Rachel has worked with City Plants for seven years and holds a B.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Southern California. Rachel has designed and implemented two catalytic urban forest management plan projects for the City of Los Angeles, bringing broad coalitions of multi-sector stakeholders together to strengthen climate resiliency and urban tree equity in Los Angeles.

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  • 10:35–11:10 a.m. From a Stormwater Study to a Community Resilience Toolkit

    What began as an initiative to accurately quantify the value of urban tree canopy for stormwater management in Puget Sound has evolved into a multi-phased project that formed strong regional partnerships and produced an informative technical report, an interdisciplinary handbook, and a comprehensive web-based toolkit to help jurisdictions collaborate and integrate urban forest-based solutions into community priorities, often dominated by climate resilience. Hear about the journey and the partners while getting a tour of the resources.

    Elizabeth Walker, Terra Firma Consulting | Brandy Reed, Whatcom Conservation District
    Elizabeth Walker has a master's degree in Urban Horticulture from the University of Washington, specializing in urban forestry. For three decades, she has consistently worked in and with the public sector as city forester and consultant for more than a dozen jurisdictions and agencies in the Pacific Northwest, developing urban forestry programs, strategic plans, effective regulations, and public engagement. She continues to maintain a strong network of stakeholders to further critical initiatives on climate, equity, stewardship, and conservation -- both locally and globally.

    Brandy Reed is an accomplished natural resource management professional and organizational leader with more than 30 years of experience. Prior to Whatcom Conservation District, she served as the Director of Strategic Partnerships at King Conservation District where she developed a portfolio of community-based natural resource management initiatives, such as promoting the role of urban trees and forest cover in stormwater management. Brandy has also worked for the USDA Forest Service and Washington State Parks. She has a B.S. in Environmental/Outdoor Education and a master's degree in Science Education from WWU.

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  • 10:35–11:10 a.m. Lightning Round: Climate Change session includes four 7-minute presentations on a single topic
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    Addressing Shade Equity Through Community Tree Planting in Portland, OR

    In June of 2021, the Pacific Northwest saw a once-in-a-millennium climate event that cost 96 lives during record-high temperatures. Mapping and overlay with tree canopy present a very clear picture: those that died were primarily in areas of low tree canopy cover. Friends of Trees and Portland State University embarked on a series of discussions with a community advisory board about the ways in which green projects can address pressing needs and the types of projects that can better prepare communities for future climate-induced events.

    Yashar Vasef, Friends of Trees
    Yashar Vasef is the Executive Director at Friends of Trees, a nonprofit organization based in Portland and operating between southwestern Washington and Eugene, Oregon, to help address inequities in the urban tree canopy. He has spent more than 15 years in the nonprofit sector at various organizations in the Midwest, California, and Oregon. Through these roles, Yashar has advocated for international climate action, transportation justice, green mobility, nuclear non-proliferation, support of resettled refugee populations, human rights reform in his native Iran, and more.

    Planting for the Future with a Sister Climate City Analysis

    Urban forest managers must do their best to ensure the species we recommend for planting today can live long, healthy lives, even as the climate changes. This presentation will discuss how the City of Fremont, CA, prioritized climate resilience, tree equity, and tree diversity by completing a "sister climate city" analysis, which uses forecasted temperatures, precipitation, weather, and other variables to match modeled conditions of the client city 60-70 years in the future with a sister city's conditions today.

    Chris Peiffer, PlanIT Geo
    Chris Peiffer holds a B.S. in Urban Forestry from Pennsylvania State University, is an ISA Certified Arborist and Municipal Specialist, and specializes in urban forest planning, management, development, and innovation. Over the past eight years, Chris has managed more than 30 urban forestry planning projects that have engaged thousands of community residents, and has interviewed more than 200 city staff for a comprehensive understanding of the challenges, opportunities, and shared priorities of communities and their urban forests.

    Sooty Bark Disease: Climate Change 'Time Bomb'

    Sooty bark disease is an emerging concern in the Pacific Northwest. Research has indicated the causal fungus -- Cryptostroma corticale -- has been present in the region since the late 60s, but the impacts of the disease have only been observed recently. International research has noted outbreaks following droughts, and its emergence in the Northwest is likely linked to the recent longer and hotter summer conditions. More research is urgently needed to understand how this disease will affect our cities and communities as the climate changes.

    Dr. Joseph Hulbert, Washington State University
    Joey Hulbert is a USDA NIFA Postdoctoral Research Fellow based at the Washington State University Research and Extension Center in Puyallup, WA. He is also the Director of the Forest Health Watch program ( Through this experience, his background in forest health, and his passion for public engagement in science, Joey engages communities in research about the consequences of climate change and globalization on the health of forests.

    Which Urban Tree Canopy Types Are the "Coolest"?

    The summer of 2021 was the hottest on record in the U.S. Cities are documented to be 2–10 degrees (F) warmer compared to rural areas, and extreme heat is now the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S. Trees and forests can mitigate urban heat, however not all types of urban forests provide the same cooling benefits. We will show which types of urban trees provide the greatest cooling benefits across multiple U.S. cities. and how you can measure these differences in your own city.

    Dr. Clara Pregitzer, Natural Areas Conservancy
    Clara Pregitzer is the Deputy Director of Conservation Science at the Natural Areas Conservancy in New York City (NYC). In this capacity, she leads the organization's research and conservation efforts in natural areas in NYC as well as for the Forests in Cities Network. Clara has spent the past 12 years studying urban natural areas, describing their value and the need for conservation and management. She holds a B.S. in Forestry from Northern Arizona University, an M.S. in Ecology from the University of Tennessee, and a Ph.D. from Yale School of the Environment.

  • 11:20 a.m. –12:00 p.m. Seattle: Many Voices Make for a Healthy Urban Forest

    Known as the Emerald City, Seattle is nestled beside Puget Sound, surrounded by mountains and ancient forests. Seattle is one of many municipalities and counties in the Green City Partnership to care for natural areas, increase canopy through tree planting programs, and work equitably to restore canopy in areas of historic underinvestment and current heat islands. Travel through history, pre-contact to today, to understand the context for community-based forest restoration, growing a healthy urban forest where trees are distributed equitably.

    Shanoa Pinkham & Shameka Gagnier, Na'ah Illahee Fund
    Managing Seattle's urban forest is a shared endeavor with collaboration across several departments. Our Puget Sound forest extends regionally, and Seattle often partners with other municipalities, King County, and many community-based organizations dedicated to keeping the forest healthy and thriving. Na'ah Illahee Fund, one of our many partners, is an Indigenous women-led organization dedicated to the ongoing regeneration of Indigenous communities. Focused on Indigenous Ecology, Food Sovereignty, and Wise Action, Na'ah Illahee Fund works to advance climate and gender justice, while creating healthy pathways towards self-determination and movement-building. Programming includes a youth job training program that provides space to plant and care for Indigenous plant medicines and sacred foods while learning about ecological restoration and the traditional values of land stewardship.

    As an enrolled member of the Yakama Nation, and also of Southern Cheyenne descent, Shanoa Pinkham grew up both on the Yakama Indian Reservation and in Seattle. Once a food gatherer for the Satus Longhouse, Shanoa has a deep respect for Indigenous knowledge that is held in sacred foods and plant medicines. With a passion for Native stories and history, she double majored with a B.A. in American Indian Studies and Communication from the University of Washington. Shanoa works with Na'ah Illahee Fund as the Yahowt Foods and Lands Restoration Coordinator.

    Shameka Gagnier is a multimedia artist, working as a wood carver, metalsmith, print maker, performance artist, music maker, and gardener, presently residing with their partner and family in the unceded traditional territories of The Nisqually, Puyallup and Squaxin Island Peoples. They carry bloodlines from the Norther, Central, and Southern Turtle Island, Africa, and Europe; many stories and names have been lost due to exploitation, foster care, and adoption. Gagnier works as a project coordinator with Na'ah Illahee Fund and a curriculum developer.

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  • 12:00–1:00 p.m. Boxed Lunch included with conference registration
  • 12:30–4:30 p.m. Field Experiences full tour descriptions found here
  • 5:30–7:30 p.m. Partners in Community Forestry Networking Event Event will take place at The Collective Seattle (400 Dexter Ave. N. #120, Seattle, WA 98109)

date  Thursday, Nov 17, 2022

  • 7:00 a.m. –12:00 p.m. Registration Open
  • 7:30–8:30 a.m. SUFC Meet-and-Greet Grab breakfast and join SUFC leadership in Grand Ballroom 1
  • 7:30–8:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast With Exhibitors included with conference registration
  • 8:30–10:00 a.m. Streaming Live Financing the Urban Forest Explorations into innovative financing scenarios for advancing urban forestry

    Evergreen Communities: State Funding for Urban Forestry in Washington State

    The Evergreen Communities Act (ECA) is landmark legislation for urban forestry that was adopted by the State Legislature in 2008. In 2009, funding for the ECA was pulled back in the wake of the great recession, and the Act was never implemented. Fast forward to 2021: an updated version of the ECA was signed into law, providing $2.68 million in state funding for urban forestry in Washington. This presentation will chronicle the story of the ECA from 2008 to present, how the dollars are being spent today, and lessons learned along the way.

    Ben Thompson, Washington State Department of Natural Resources
    Ben Thompson is the Urban Forestry Program Manager for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources Urban & Community Forestry Program and has been an ISA Certified Arborist since 1999. He holds a bachelor's degree in Urban and Community Forestry from Unity College in Maine and a master's degree in Forest Resources and Conservation from the University of Florida. He lives in Olympia, WA, with his wife and two young kids. Together they enjoy experiencing Washington's wonderfully diverse landscapes -- from national parks to local playgrounds.

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    How are Forests in Cities Funded for the Long Term?

    Natural areas account for the majority of urban parkland across the United States but are chronically underfunded, despite their size and importance to urban residents. In this presentation, we share outcomes of new research from New York City that identifies the gap between what funding is provided and what is needed. We end with a few case studies from cities across the U.S. that have found alternative solutions to this funding issue, highlighting what made it work and how to follow their example.

    Sophie Plitt, Natural Areas Conservancy & USDA Forest Service
    Sophie Plitt works in a dual role between the USDA Forest Service and the Natural Areas Conservancy managing natural partnerships for STEW-MAP and forested natural areas practitioners. She leads the Forests in Cities program, a network dedicated to improving the protection and management of urban forested natural areas. Sophie has worked for New York City Parks, New York Restoration Project, TreeKIT, and the New York Tree Trust planning and implementing green infrastructure projects with the goal of deepening human-nature connections in cities. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Urban Ecosystems from The New School and an M.S. in Social-Ecological Resilience Research at the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

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    Diversifying Funding: A New Era for Transformational Change in Urban Forestry

    The municipal general fund has long been the core of urban forestry funding, however it is beholden to such a range of community and infrastructure needs that it is stretched thin. To overcome this and other budgetary barriers, urban forestry programs should be leveraging a wider variety of sources, both public and private, to meet their needs. This presentation will review the diverse and growing range of funding sources that urban forest managers are using to run their programs, including urban wood reuse, carbon credits, and more.

    Ian Hanou, PlanIT Geo
    Ian Hanou has 19 years of private sector experience. He earned a B.S. in Forest Management & GIS from Colorado State University and founded PlanIT Geo in 2012. The firm specializes in urban forestry software, GIS, remote sensing, green infrastructure, and ecosystem services. He has managed hundreds of innovative urban forestry projects, and in 2011 the Society of Municipal Arborists presented Ian with an award for innovation in tree planting prioritization. He lives in Colorado with his wife and two children where he has summited all 54 mountains over 14,000 feet.

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    Funding Urban Forestry with Corporate Investment

    Corporations of all sizes are integrating environment, social, and governance (ESG) goals into their business strategies and financial plans, creating more opportunity for urban forests to be a part of their investment mix. Join the Arbor Day Foundation and three corporate leaders for a dialogue on business trends, community forests, and how your organization can unlock the power of corporate partnerships.

    Dan Morrow, Arbor Day Foundation | Rich Brown, Bank of America | Mandy Burnette, WestRock
    As Vice President of Programs & Partnerships at the Arbor Day Foundation, Dan Morrow works closely with corporate and organizational leaders at all levels to achieve their unique environmental/social/governance (ESG), corporate social responsibility (CSR), and sustainability goals. Together with his team, Dan helps bring the Foundation's core values to life through a relentless dedication to service excellence, high-impact work, and innovation in pursuit of a better world through trees. When not at work, Dan is focused on his family – staying busy chasing his four young children.

    Rich Brown serves as Senior Vice President and Environmental Program Director in the Global Environmental Group at Bank of America. In that role, he is responsible for managing the bank's strategic relationships with national and international environmental organizations, managing Bank of America's award-winning "My Environment" employee engagement program, connecting the bank's environmental initiative to strategic initiatives in local markets around the world, and working on environmental policy issues. He is a 31-year veteran of Bank of America. Prior to joining Bank of America, Rich was legislative aide to then-Congressman (now US Senator) Ron Wyden. He received his bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Oregon.

    Mandy Burnette is Director of Corporate Giving for WestRock, a leading global provider of sustainable paper and packaging solutions. She has oversight for community investments and sponsorships across the company, with direct responsibility for managing partnerships in their headquarters community of Atlanta, Georgia. Mandy is also executive director of the WestRock Foundation, overseeing programmatic grant partnerships and employee engagement programs, and the WestRock Employee Relief Fund. Mandy earned a bachelor's degree in Mass Communications–Public Relations from Virginia Commonwealth University, and is co-convener of Atlanta Corporate Donors. She recently completed the Atlanta Women's Foundation's Inspire Atlanta program, is a member of The Woodruff Arts Center Corporate Campaign Cabinet, The Conference Board's Global CSR & Philanthropy Council, and recent past president of her HOA board.

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  • 10:00–10:30 a.m. Beverage & Networking Break With Exhibitors included with conference registration
  • 10:30–11:05 a.m. Leveling the Planting Field Through the Treesilience Initiative

    Dying trees on private property threaten people and property and are a barrier to new tree planting and community appreciation of trees. Removals and pruning can be prohibitively expensive, though. Treesilience is a national initiative to address the barriers to healthy canopy through free tree removals, replacements, mature tree maintenance, and the improvement of planting conditions. We focus on areas where canopy is either threatened or already lost and partner with communities that stand to gain the most from more resilient urban forests.

    Rachel Holmes, The Nature Conservancy | Lyajiah Gilbert, Trinity United Church of Christ
    Rachel Holmes is the Healthy Trees Coordinator for The Nature Conservancy (TNC). In addition to urban forestry, Rachel has a background in youth development, having worked for several youth-based nonprofit organizations prior to joining TNC in 2014 when she started the Conservancy's first field-based urban conservation professional development program. Rachel holds a Master of Forestry from the Yale School of Forestry and the Environment, a Master of Divinity from Yale University, and a B.S. from Rutgers University.

    Ajiah Gilbert received her bachelor's degree in Biology and Ethnic Studies at the University of San Diego. She is the current program leader for the Imani Green Health Advocates program in the South Side of Chicago. Her passions lie in environmental education and youth development.

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  • 10:30–11:05 a.m. Increasing Urban Forest Resiliency Through Greater Tree Diversity

    Tree diversity underpins urban forest resiliency by reducing the risk of pest, disease, and environmental stress. Yet worldwide and across the U.S., urban forests often contain only a small number of widely-used species. This begins with the selection process used by growers in the tree supply chain and goes all the way to consumers who narrow tree diversity further. We conducted nationwide focus groups to identify leverage points that may prevent promising urban species from making it to market.

    Dr. Deborah Hilbert, Many Trees Consulting, LLC
    Deb Hilbert is an urban tree scientist, manager, and educator. She conducts research on topics such as urban tree diversity, survival, planting space recommendations, and canopy assessments. She leads Many Trees Consulting, an urban tree management consultancy, and conducts research with colleagues at the University of Florida's Urban Tree and Landscape Management Lab. When not working on her latest research project, Deb can be seen volunteering with local tree groups so that she can get off of the computer and actually touch trees!

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  • 10:30–11:05 a.m. Lightning Round: Inclusion session includes four 7-minute presentations on a single topic
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    The Role of Professional Development in the Career Advancement of Women in Urban Forestry

    Urban forestry is a historically male-dominated field, with women making up a small but growing portion of the workforce. In the past few decades, there has been an increase in women holding leadership positions in the field. Although it is important to assess the constraints that women face as they pursue a career in urban forestry, it is also necessary to look at the catalysts that have propelled them forward. These catalysts include mentorship, conferences, continued professional education, and sponsorship and networking.

    Kiley Barber, Oregon State University
    Kiley Barber is a graduate student studying urban forestry in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University. Her current work looks at the impact of professional development activities for women in urban forestry leadership. She obtained her B.S. in Biology from Colorado Mesa University in 2021.

    Women in Arboriculture Today: Climbing Through the Green Ceiling

    The path of women in the tree business features what once was seen as an insurmountable barrier: climbing. Tree climbers are at the core of the industry; not everyone starts up in the trees, but many entry-level jobs still take you there. It's the purest form of tree work, but women still constitute a minority in American arboriculture. My presentation will explore the history of women's participation, describe where we stand currently, and look ahead to the future.

    Jean Zimmerman, Writer
    Throughout her writing career, Jean Zimmerman has published fiction and nonfiction centered on some of the most provocative subjects in America. In recent years, working as a Certified Arborist, Zimmerman has helped municipalities manage their tree populations more effectively and has worked to ensure that tree preservation regulations are upheld in New York City. In addition to serving on the board of directors of the New York State Urban Forestry Council (NYSUFC), she also chairs the Hudson Valley chapter of ReLeaf, a collaborative entity of NYSUFC and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

    How to Build a Pre-Employment Training Program That Works

    American Forests has developed a pre-employment curriculum that urban forestry practitioners have embraced as a key resource for building professional job training programs, integrating both soft skills and arboriculture skills to diversify our field. This session will provide an overview of the curriculum itself and will describe how practitioners are implementing it, including lessons learned.

    Hannah Gregory, American Forests
    Hannah Gregory works on the Career Pathways team at American Forests, which helps those facing barriers to employment establish careers in urban forestry by working closely with employers and stakeholders in government, private sector, nonprofit, trade association, and workforce development. Prior to working at American Forests, she oversaw career services and asset-building initiatives at a community college and managed an urban farm in Hartford, Connecticut. She holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Connecticut and was an Aspen Institute Economic Opportunity Fellow through the Hartford Workforce Leaders Academy.

    Branching Out: Growing a Women's Network in Trees

    Since August 2020, Rebecca Johnson has been hosting monthly "Women in Trees" chats via Zoom. These chats are a combination of networking, coaching, community building, and resource sharing. The space created allows participants to discuss challenges and receive peer-to-peer solutions. This presentation will review the most common topics discussed and resources provided at the conclusion of each meeting. It also includes lessons learned in hosting an open chat, creating a safe space, and helping to set the stage for a successful chat.

    Rebecca Johnson, Arborholic, LLC
    Rebecca Johnson is an ISA Certified Arborist and a true "arborholic." She is addicted to helping trees and the people who care for them. She was recognized with the 2020 ISA President's Award for her work with Women in Arboriculture, which includes hosting a monthly zoom chat. She is Tree Risk Assessment Qualified and holds the Texas ISA Oak Wilt and Wildfire Risk Reduction qualifications. She spends her free time looking at trees and playing with her dog. However, she really is a cat person. Don't tell the dog.

  • 11:15–11:50 a.m. Ann Arbor's 10,000 Trees Initiative: Enhancing Resilience and Equity Through Tree Planting on Private Property

    As climate change affects weather patterns and results in negative effects to human health and our built infrastructure, local governments must find ways to increase the resilience of their communities and mitigate these effects. In addition, low-income and minority populations, which are already vulnerable to other health risks such as air pollution, are disproportionately affected by climate change. This presentation explores how Ann Arbor's 10,000 Trees Initiative is addressing these concerns through tree planting on private property.

    Sean Reynolds, City of Ann Arbor (MI) Office of Sustainability and Innovations
    Sean Reynolds is working on various resilience-related projects for the City of Ann Arbor, including the 10,000 Trees Initiative, a program aimed at getting trees planted on private property. He has prior urban forestry experience through Casey Trees, a nonprofit in Washington, DC. Sean has an M.S. in Forestry from Auburn University. Originally from Maryland, he moved to Ann Arbor in December 2020. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, reading, and cooking.

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  • 11:15–11:50 a.m. Registered Apprenticeship: The Future of Workforce Development in Urban Forestry

    Apprenticeships in arboriculture are key to developing, improving, and enhancing the workforce of the industry. These types of programs are the future of urban forestry and provide an opportunity to work with multiple partners across arboriculture and workforce development sectors. This presentation will discuss the benefits of starting or working with a registered apprenticeship program and how to work with partners outside your typical bubble to get better trained and skilled individuals into this industry.

    Katie Fleming, Openlands
    Katie Fleming is the Forestry Program Manager at Openlands. Katie oversees the first year of the Arborist Registered Apprenticeship program, then works with employer partners to support and develop Years 2 & 3 of the program. Katie provides classroom training to apprentices, leads staff in accomplishing establishment maintenance and planting, and educates others on the importance of Chicago's tree canopy. Katie is an ISA Certified Arborist and holds a B.S. in Natural Resources & Environmental Science from the University of Illinois.

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  • 11:15–11:50 a.m. Lightning Round: Species Diversity session includes four 7-minute presentations on a single topic
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    Trees for Climate Change: Strategies For Search and Selection

    Today, one of the most urgent questions in horticulture is, "What tree planting strategies are best for the rapid climate change we are experiencing?" Climate conditions and organisms are moving from the equator toward the poles with the overall warming of the climate. The "look south" search model for finding future-adapted tree species is gaining acceptance, along with an awareness of the importance of geographical range. The application of these searches to California is detailed, from identification to testing to nursery introduction.

    Dave Muffly, Oaktopia
    Dave Muffly is a tree researcher, educator, consultant, manager, and entrepreneur. Dave specializes in oaks, street trees, climate change adaptation, urban-wildland interface plantings, and strategic tree planning. Dave started his tree career establishing oaks by the thousand on Stanford wildlands. Dave gained his Certified Arborist credential in 1998, and his Board Certified Master Arborist credential in 2008. Dave came to the attention of Steve Jobs and was hired to spend seven years as Senior Arborist at Apple, Inc., directing the planting of 9,000 trees.

    Wind-Resistant Species for Hurricane-Prone Communities

    Hurricanes cause substantial damage to coastal and island communities, infrastructure, and the urban forest. We created a classification system to group over 500 tree species into low, medium, and high wind resistance groups based on an extensive literature review. Communities can use this system to incorporate wind resistance into their species selection and identify existing trees in their inventory with low wind resistance. This knowledge can be used to create urban forest management plans that proactively address hurricane-related risks.

    Dr. Allyson Salisbury, University of Florida
    Allyson Salisbury is an environmental scientist and urban ecologist who studies how trees and other plants grow in the built environment. Her research helps us understand how to help trees grow better in less-than-ideal conditions so we can create greener places for people to live, work, and play.

    Pacific Madrones Take Care of Us If We Take Care of Them

    Because, Madrone. The Arbutus ARME (binomial abbreviation for Pacific madrone) celebrates all things Pacific madrone, highlighting conservation and restoration efforts while connecting tree researchers and enthusiasts along the way. This initiative originated as a partnership between the Washington State University Ornamental Plant Pathology Program and Seattle Parks and Recreation's Green Seattle Partnership. We are slowly growing this thing across the Pacific madrone's entire range, along the jagged edge of Turtle Island.

    Michael Yadrick, Seattle Parks and Recreation
    Michael Yadrick is an ecologist working at Seattle Parks and Recreation supporting Green Seattle Partnership. He endeavors to unsettle colonial conservation practices, inviting respect, humility, and harm reduction into his ecological restoration practice. Michael is the co-founder of the Arbutus ARME and creator of the treehugger podcast. He is also a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Bolivia '02-'04) and former AmeriCorps volunteer. Currently an injured ultrarunner, Michael enjoys family hikes and dog walks and plunging in the Salish Sea.

    Trees For the Future: A Five-Year Update

    Our study focuses on testing selected tree species for urban settings that we judge to have potential to adapt to future climate change factors such as drought, heat, pests, and extreme weather events but are not yet in wide use across urban areas of California. This study, started in 2015, is expected to continue over 20 years, and will contribute to the knowledge needed to shift urban forest planting palettes to species that will be more resilient to these climate stressors.

    Dr. Natalie van Doorn, USDA Forest Service
    Natalie van Doorn is a Research Urban Ecologist at the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station in Albany, CA. She is interested in what drives change in urban and wildland forests, how forests are vulnerable to disturbances and stressors, and what can be done to improve their resiliency. Her research utilizes and builds on long-term data sets tracking populations and individual trees; measuring forest structure and dynamics. She earned her bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees from the University of California-Berkeley, focusing on forest ecology.

  • 11:50 a.m. –1:00 p.m. Plated Luncheon included with conference registration
  • 1:00–1:35 p.m. Planner's Forest Toolkit: Adopt the Best Policies and Codes for a Healthy Urban Forest

    While everyone agrees that a healthy urban forest is vital to our cities and towns, the codes, policies, and practices with which we manage that forest are often lacking. A lack of good tree policies and ordinances can hinder tree coverage, leading to declines in cover as trees are lost/removed and not replaced. Learn which codes are essential for a healthy forest, why they are needed, and what best practices for rules and guidance cities should have in place, followed by a case study for how a city built support for new codes.

    Karen Firehock & Matt Lee, Green Infrastructure Center Inc.
    Karen Firehock directs the Green Infrastructure Center (GIC) which maps, conserves, or restores natural resources in both wild and urban landscapes to create more resilient communities. She has authored numerous green infrastructure books such as "Green Infrastructure: Map and Plan the Natural World With GIS and Forest Connectivity in the Developing Landscape. She has a B.S. in Natural Resources Management and an M.S. in Environmental Planning.

    Matt Lee works with communities to protect and conserve natural resources, with a focus on community forests. He is also researching ways to incentivize tree planting and care, on both public and private property, and how to maximize landscape connectivity in developing areas. He coordinates several projects for the GIC including the Resilient Coastal Forest projects for the states of Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia; Storm Ready Communities; and multiple landscape-scale green infrastructure plans. He is ISA and TRAQ-certified, with a B.S. in Horticulture from Virginia Tech and a Master of Planning degree from Penn State University.

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  • 1:00–1:35 p.m. Urban Forest Equity Collective: Closing the Canopy Gap in Los Angeles

    This presentation summarizes the factors that have helped to create the large-scale inequities in the distribution of Los Angeles' urban forest and the process for overcoming and contending with decades of destructive urban planning decisions that created the current landscape.

    Dr. Vivek Shandas, CAPA Strategies LLC & Portland State University | Rachel O'Leary, City Plants | Edith de Guzman, UCLA & LA Urban Cooling Collaborative | Dr. Dana Hellman, CAPA Strategies LLC
    Vivek Shandas is a Professor of Climate Adaptation and Director of the Sustaining Urban Places Research (SUPR) Lab at Portland State University. Professor Shandas supports organizations in identifying and evaluating climate-induced stressors, and the co-creation of adaptation strategies that emphasize equity, resilience, and sustainability. He has published more than 100 publications and four books and serves as a consult and technical advisor to public, private, and nonprofit organizations.

    Rachel O'Leary currently serves as the Executive Director for City Plants, an urban forestry nonprofit organization founded by the City of Los Angeles. The City Plants collaborative plants and distributes 20,000 trees each year in Los Angeles and envisions a Los Angeles in which people in every neighborhood have equal access to trees and their benefits: clean air, energy efficiency, better health, cooling shade, and friendlier, more vibrant communities.

    Edith de Guzman is a researcher-practitioner, educator, and consultant working with diverse audiences on climate change solutions in urban areas. Edith co-founded and directs the Los Angeles Urban Cooling Collaborative, a multidisciplinary partnership of academics and practitioners working to reduce public health impacts of extreme heat. She recently finished a stint as Director of Research at TreePeople and is a Ph.D. candidate at the UCLA Institute of the Environment & Sustainability.

    Dana Hellman manages the development and implementation of Growing Capacity services at CAPA Strategies, LLC. She is an environmental social scientist and earned her Ph.D. in Earth, Environment & Society from Portland State University. She brings deep knowledge of climate change adaptation and resilience studies, a professional background in community planning, and strong research skills to her work with CAPA.

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  • 1:00–1:35 p.m. Lightning Round: Municipal Forestry session includes four 7-minute presentations on a single topic
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    How Do You Determine the Most Equitable Way to Allocate $1.5 Million for Urban Forestry?

    It's a gift that not every municipality receives from their council -- a lump sum of $1.5 million -- and it's a challenge to figure out how to spend it in a responsible and equitable manner over a fairly short period of time. The allocation of $1.5M represents almost 20% of our Division's annual budget, which is an enormous influx of funds, and we have approximately 3 years to spend it. The City of Lexington has gathered a committee of tree experts and community advocates to determine the best path forward with the hope of addressing tree equity.

    Heather Wilson, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government
    Heather Wilson earned her M.S. in Forestry at the University of Kentucky. She is currently the Program Manager of Urban Forestry for the City of Lexington (LFUCG), KY, where she oversees Reforest the Bluegrass, a community reforestation program, and directs urban forestry initiatives for Lexington. Heather also teaches the Urban & Community Forestry Certificate capstone class at the University of Kentucky, is a member of the Urban Forest Initiatives Working Group, part of the Tree Week planning committee, and is an active advocate for tree preservation in urban areas.

    Reach for the Sky: Public Tree Climbing Enriches Urban Living

    We present a novel strategy to build connections between trees and people in urban environments: climb them. Guided public tree climbs connect people with a vital resource, building appreciation for trees as living things with innate value and beauty. The use of ropes, harnesses, helmets, and other equipment protects climbers and trees from harm and allow the climber to disconnect from the artificial world and connect deeply with the natural one and with oneself.

    Dr. David Anderson, Canopy Watch International
    David Anderson is an ornithologist by training, a tree climber by passion, and a conservationist by dedication. He conducts research on all those topics, sharing his findings in scientific and popular articles, blogs, and through public outreach. He founded Canopy Watch International in 2015 to train scientists and nonscientists on methods for accessing the forest canopy for the benefit of personal and scientific discovery. His recent TED talk on tree climbing is a good introduction to the speaker and Canopy Watch.

    Are Your Tree Planting Specifications Killing Your Trees?

    How a tree is planted and cared for during the establishment phase will be a prime indicator of how the tree survives and thrives long term. Many tree planting specifications have not been updated to follow the current best management practices, and as a result, trees are not being set up for long-term health and success.

    Rebecca Johnson, Arborholic, LLC
    Rebecca Johnson is an ISA Certified Arborist and a true "arborholic." She is addicted to helping trees and the people who care for them. She was recognized with the 2020 ISA President's Award for her work with Women in Arboriculture, which includes hosting a monthly Zoom chat. She is Tree Risk Assessment Qualified and holds the Texas ISA Oak Wilt and Wildfire Risk Reduction qualifications. She spends her free time looking at trees and playing with her dog. However, she really is a cat person. Don't tell the dog.

    When Money Is Not An Issue But Rules Are

    What happens when an Urban Forest Grant program generates more mitigation money than it can spend? Believe it or not, this is a harder problem to solve than you may think. City of Austin forestry staff have been in the highly unusual predicament of managing a multi-million-dollar fund that has strictly defined granting parameters. This session will discuss the building and evolution of the successful and creative Urban Forest Grant program over the last 13 years.

    Jason Traweek, City of Austin
    With 25 years of work in environmental education, project development, and arboriculture, Jason Traweek has dedicated his career to ecological preservation and restoration. His current work includes coordinating investments in community urban forestry projects for the City of Austin. He is an ISA Certified Arborist and earned a B.S. in Conservation Biology from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to his career with the City of Austin, he spent three years as an Environmental Education volunteer in the Peace Corps, stationed in the Dominican Republic.

  • 1:45–2:20 p.m. Nature in Urban Planning for Better Human Health

    Long-held intuitions about the importance of trees for human health have been confirmed by an abundance of research. Yet this evidence hasn't been effectively integrated into urban planning practices and policies in most communities. Urban forestry planning should intersect with broader urban planning efforts to address many dimensions of human health, including concerns of equity. Practical guidelines for creating wellness-focused communities will be presented from national, multidisciplinary perspectives.

    Dr. Kathleen Wolf, University of Washington
    As a Social Scientist at the University of Washington (Seattle), Kathy Wolf has directed a multi-decade research program to investigate human response to urban outdoor spaces using environmental psychology approaches. Kathy's mission is to discover, understand, and communicate human behavior and benefits as people experience nature in cities and towns. Research partnership has included the USDA Forest Service, NGOs, and local communities. Dr. Wolf is committed to science translation and outreach and actively shares research in presentations and websites.

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  • 1:45–2:20 p.m. Does Urban Tree Planting Cause Gentrification?

    Using 30 years of tree planting data from the nonprofit Friends of Trees, we examined whether tree planting was associated with an increase in gentrification in Portland, Oregon. We defined gentrification as an increase in the price premium that people were willing to pay to live in a neighborhood. We found that tree planting was associated with increased gentrification, although the size of the effect was modest, and it didn't appear until six years after a tree was planted.

    Abigail Kaminski, USDA Forest Service
    Abigail Kaminski is a Social Science Information Specialist at the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, where she provides research support for the Goods, Services, and Values Program. She has a B.A. in Economics and Geography from Clark University and an M.S. in Resource Economics and Policy from the University of Maine.

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  • 1:45–2:20 p.m. Analyzing Canopy Loss After Land Development: Insights for Tree Protection

    Several studies have observed patterns of urban tree canopy loss, with construction being a common source. Despite implementation of tree protection bylaws, tree canopy continues to decline due to construction activities, long after construction is completed. In this study, we focused on the City of Surrey in British Columbia, Canada, to determine if trees protected during construction activities were still present post-construction. We propose strategies for municipalities to review their tree protection ordinances and assess their efficacy.

    Laura Grant, University of British Columbia
    Laura Grant is currently a master's student at the University of British Columbia. She holds a B.S. in Forest Health from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. She became an ISA Certified Arborist in 2018 and is a current member of the Pacific Northwest chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture.

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  • 2:30–3:05 p.m. Planning for Equitable Urban Density and Healthy Communities

    Setting environmental equity goals is easy to do but often more complicated to implement. This interactive session will examine various district-scale strategies for both objectives of creating human and natural habitats and to engage the attendees to compare their experiences.

    David Moehring, AIA NCARB, Seattle Urban Forestry Commission | Charles Kelley, AIA NCARB, Green Urban Design LLC | Martha Baskin, Freelance Environmental Reporter
    An architect and Capital Planner with the University of Washington-Bothell, David Moehring also serves as a Commissioner with the Seattle Urban Forestry Commission. David is a champion for urban density housing opportunities while maintaining an equitable urban forest, which is key in times of evidential climate change.

    Charles Kelley is a senior architect and urban designer bringing an interdisciplinary approach to integrate community aspirations, natural resources, and financial assets. Green Urban Design LLC engages with business and government using design to connect vital, equitable, and sustainable communities with nature in urban mixed-use neighborhoods. Charles brings the value of integrated design to leverage multiple objectives across mobility, watershed, energy, water, land use, and open space systems that create vital and enduring community-oriented projects.

    Martha Baskin is a freelance reporter who covers a wide range of issues in her multimedia coverage of endangered species, warming oceans, alternatives to fossil fuels, growing food in unlikely places, pollinators, and climate and environmental justice. She has been a contributor to Geekwire, Seattle Globalist, Truthout, the former Seattle Post-Globe, and Crosscut as well as several community radio stations.

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  • 2:30–3:05 p.m. Urban Tree Monitoring: Best Practices for Municipalities and Nonprofits

    Cities across the world invest in tree planting as a strategy to combat the effects of climate change and to meet goals of expanding canopy cover. While millions of trees are planted, monitoring for long-term survival is a critical and too often overlooked step in these projects. Learn about new resources for urban tree monitoring and the experiences of programs in Portland, OR, and Washington, D.C., Panelists will discuss considerations for developing a monitoring program, the benefits of such a program, and lessons learned.

    Jeff Ramsey, Portland Parks and Recreation–Urban Forestry | Dr. Kasey Yturralde, Washington, D.C., District Department of Transportation, Urban Forestry Division | Dr. Natalie van Doorn, USDA Forest Service–Pacific Southwest Research Station
    Jeff Ramsey is a Science and Policy Specialist at Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry in Portland, OR. Jeff leads Urban Forestry's community science program and, as part of the Science, Outreach, and Planting team at Urban Forestry, works with the public to learn more about Portland's urban forest and apply the latest research to its management. Jeff is an ISA Certified Arborist and Municipal Specialist, and holds degrees in Geography and Geographic Information Systems from Macalester College and Portland State University, respectively.

    Kasey Yturralde is the Forest Health and Community Outreach Specialist with Urban Forestry Division at the District Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C. She leads forest health monitoring activities and studies, as well as coordinates outreach in city parks and schools to raise awareness of trees and the benefits they provide. In a previous role, she worked as an Urban Forester for three years, managing urban forest resources for District residents. Kasey obtained her Ph.D. in Forest Science from Northern Arizona University's School of Forestry.

    Natalie van Doorn is a Research Urban Ecologist at the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station in Albany, CA. She is interested in what drives change in urban and wildland forests, how forests are vulnerable to disturbances and stressors, and what can be done to improve their resiliency. Her research utilizes and builds on long-term data sets tracking populations and individual trees, measuring forest structure and dynamics. She earned her bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees from the University of California–Berkeley, focusing on forest ecology.

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  • 2:30–3:05 p.m. Lightning Round: Environmental Justice session includes four 7-minute presentations on a single topic
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    SpoCanopy is a project between The Lands Council and the City of Spokane Urban Forestry, to help achieve the city's goal of increasing urban canopy cover to 40% by 2030. Our focus is to plant in neighborhoods that have been historically disenfranchised, following the correlation between lower median income and low canopy cover. In North East Spokane the average canopy cover is about 13%, where Spokane's average canopy cover is about 20%, in some neighborhoods reaching over 40%. Through SpoCanopy, we hope to give the benefits of trees to all.

    Amanda Parrish, The Lands Council
    After studying comparative ecology and conservation in Ecuador, Amanda Parrish graduated with a degree in Environmental Studies from the University of San Francisco in 2008 and joined The Lands Council (TLC) in 2009 as an AmeriCorps member. She has held many positions at TLC, from Volunteer Coordinator to Beaver Program Director to her current position as Executive Director. She hopes to build climate resiliency into Inland Northwest forests, water, and wildlife.

    Challenges and Opportunities to Increase Canopy in a Low Tree Equity Neighborhood in Syracuse, NY

    Housing demolition for blight reduction is leading to tree canopy loss in Syracuse's redlined neighborhoods. The City is now leveraging its growing vacant land inventory to actively integrate urban forest equity into new housing construction and neighborhood revitalization. We'll highlight pilot projects in the Southwest neighborhood and discuss how a vacant lands strategy can reduce heat islands near vulnerable populations and be deployed in once-in-a-generation infrastructure projects that will begin in a few years.

    Stephen Harris, City of Syracuse (NY) Department of Parks, Recreation & Youth Programs
    Steve Harris is City Arborist for the City of Syracuse and oversees the management of the community's 44,000 street and park trees as well as initiatives to improve tree equity. Steve previously worked in the nursery industry and as an urban forest extension educator. Steve holds associate's and master's degrees in forestry, is a certified arborist and municipal specialist, a graduate of the Municipal Forestry Institute, a former Society of Municipal Arborist Board member, and current New York State Urban Forestry Council President. Steve's passion for forestry began as a peace corps volunteer in The Gambia.

    A New Vision of Tree Equity: Lessons from Hawaii

    In cities across the continental U.S., we see that urban trees and the benefits they afford are not distributed equitably. However in Hawaii, trends for tree planting and existing canopy are not always easily explained by race and income. We explore tools to assess tree equity from a Hawaii perspective to explain urban tree canopy distribution. We also suggest unique elements to consider beyond canopy coverage to understand tree equity. This has implications for places with high biocultural diversity and a strong indigenous community presence.

    Heather McMillen, Hawaii Division of Forestry & Wildlife
    Heather McMillen is Hawaii's Urban & Community Forester. She is an ISA Certified Arborist, an affiliate faculty member at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in the Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Management and in the Department of Anthropology. She is a humble learner of wood carving, lauhala weaving, and tree pruning.

    Planting Trees in Common Ground: Priority Area Identification and Coalition Building

    This presentation will discuss how Openlands identified our priority planting areas, discuss techniques used when engaging the communities that live there, and offer tips for building and sustaining partner coalitions to accomplish common goals.

    Tom Ebeling, Openlands
    Tom Ebeling joined Openlands in 2019 as the Community Arborist. In that role Tom works to facilitate the community tree planting grants, helps coordinate tree maintenance and stewardship with TreeKeepers and other volunteers and participates in the community outreach and education programs offered by Openlands. He is an ISA Certified Arborist with a background in urban and community forestry and enjoys public engagement. He also enjoys exploring the neighborhoods, green spaces, and art scenes of the new cities that he visits.

  • 3:05–3:30 p.m. Beverage & Networking Break With Exhibitors included with conference registration
  • 3:30–5:00 p.m. Storytelling in the Media

    Please join us for a discussion with media professionals as they discuss the environmental stories they cover, why their audience cares, and how you can be prepared to share the positive impact your work is having in communities.

    Jeff Salem, Arbor Day Foundation | Craig Welch, National Geographic | Lorene Edwards Forkner, garden writer & author
    Jeff Salem is the Director of Communications & Public Relations for the Arbor Day Foundation, responsible for increasing awareness and credibility of the Foundation and its impact through communications and PR strategies. Jeff holds an English degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University and a journalism degree from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. When he's not promoting the power of trees and forests, it is a good bet Jeff is on a golf course searching for his ball in the rough, or with his wife and three children driving to or from a youth sports complex.

    Craig Welch is an environment writer at National Geographic. Prior to joining National Geographic, he was the environmental reporter for The Seattle Times, where he worked for more than 14 years. A journalist for two decades, his work has appeared in Smithsonian magazine, the Washington Post, and Newsweek. He spent a year as a fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, and the Society of Environmental Journalists has twice named him Outstanding Beat Reporter of the Year, mostly recently in 2010. That same year, HarperCollins published his book, "Shell Games: A True Story of Cops, Con Men, and the Smuggling of America's Strangest Wildlife," a nonfiction detective story about wildlife thieves. It won the national Rachel Carson Environment Book Award in 2011 and was a finalist for the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association award and the Washington State Book award. Welch and photographer Steve Ringman's Pulitzer Center-supported five-part series on ocean acidification "Sea Change: The Pacific's Perilous Turn" for The Seattle Times has won numerous accolades including the Online Communication Award from the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine, the Overseas Press Club Whitman Bassow Award, the ONA Online Journalism Award for Explanatory Reporting, and an Emmy Nomination for New Approaches to News & Documentary Programming.

    Lorene Edwards Forkner is an author, editor, educator, and artist who lives and gardens in the Pacific Northwest. Lorene is the author of six previous garden books, including The Beginner's Guide to Growing Great Vegetables (Timber Press 2021), a garden contributor for The Seattle Times, and the former editor of Pacific Horticulture magazine. Follow her work at and on Instagram @gardenercook.

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    The Art and Science of (Urban Forestry) Storytelling

    Whether presenting to a city council, a parks board, or developing an urban forest master plan, HOW the information is presented is just as important as what is presented. The ART of communication has really to do with graphics and the written word. The SCIENCE of communication is how to make data understandable for the audience. This presentation will share successes, challenges, and opportunities taken and missed in the world of urban forestry communication, led by a seasoned urban forestry professional, and a talented graphic designer.

    Dana Karcher & Abby Tadaj, Davey Resource Group, Inc.
    Dana Karcher is a project developer for Davey Resource Group, working with communities throughout U.S. In her career in urban forestry, she has worked with communities to develop tree inventories, management plans, urban forest master plans, and other tree management projects. She has worked closely with planners, engineers, landscape architects, elected officials, and community groups to increase awareness of trees as assets. She is a Certified Arborist and Immediate Past President of the International Society of Arboriculture.

    Abby Tadaj is the marketing coordinator for Davey Resource Group's Environmental Consulting team. This team provides high-quality, innovative solutions to our clients and their constituencies, nationwide. Abby has experience in custom layout, template creation and maintenance, photography and post-production editing, print production, file and project organization, and project coordination management. Abby and her team also support presentations, and interpretive signage, bringing storytelling into everyday tasks to emphasize the talent and capabilities of her Davey family.

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    Closing Remarks

    Say farewell to your colleagues -- and to Seattle -- after some short closing remarks. See you next year!

    Dan Lambe, Arbor Day Foundation
    Dan Lambe is the Chief Executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. Under Dan's leadership as president, the Foundation grew to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees. He was appointed as Chief Executive in January 2022, ahead of the Foundation's 50th year anniversary. During his 17 years with the Foundation, he has led the development of innovative programs that expand the organization's global reach, including international forest restoration efforts. Over the course of his tenure, Dan has become a trusted resource for corporate sustainability leaders and the media alike, serving as a frequent resource for publications such as CNN, NPR, Popular Science, and Fast Company.

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  • 5:00–6:00 p.m. Partner Event: SUFC Policy Discussion Join the Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition for a lively policy discussion.

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