2021 Conference Agenda
date Wednesday, Nov 17, 2021
Continental Breakfast With Exhibitors
included with conference registration
Welcome to #PCFLouisville!
Join Dan Lambe for his annual challenge speech, along with welcome speakers from the USDA Forest Service, the Kentucky Division of Forestry, and the City of Louisville.Dan Lambe, Arbor Day Foundation | Beattra Wilson, USDA-Forest Service | Steve Kull, Kentucky Div. of Forestry | Mayor Greg Fischer (invited)Dan Lambe is the president of the Arbor Day Foundation, founded in 1972, which has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organisation dedicated to planting trees, with over one million members, supporters, and valued partners. Dan leads the strategic development of programs and partnerships through which the Foundation strives to educate, recognize,and empower people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees.
Beattra Wilson is Assistant Director of Cooperative Forestry programs for the USDA Forest Service in Washington, DC, with leadership over the Urban & Community Forestry program nationally.
Steve Kull is the Deputy State Forester for the Kentucky Division of Forestry. Steve graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor's Degree in Forestry in 1979. Steve has spent his entire 42-year career with the Division of Forestry and has he has been involved in all areas of a state forestry agency. When not working, Steve likes to head to the woods and the water enjoying hunting and fishing.
Greg Fischer was elected Louisville's 50th mayor in 2010, and was sworn in for a third four-year term on January 5, 2019. During Mayor Fischer's tenure, Louisville has experienced a renaissance, adding 83,000 jobs and 3,000 new businesses, with unprecedented investments in affordable housing. Louisville has been named an International Model City of Compassion four times and was a 2018 Top 15 city for attracting millennials.
Mayor Fischer is a national award-winning entrepreneur who started and invested in dozens of businesses, including SerVend International and Iceberg Ventures, a private investment firm. He also co-founded bCatalyst, the first business accelerator in Louisville. He is a graduate of Trinity High School and Vanderbilt University and is married to Dr. Alexandra Gerassimides. The couple have four adult children and one granddaughter.
Louisville's Transformation: Concrete to Canopy
Get a glimpse at the goals of Louisville Metro's urban forestry team, working to transform the vast Louisville Metropolitan region into more livable landscapes for its residents. From managing the historic Olmsted Parks and Parkways system, to de-paving projects in downtown area, the new Metro Parks community forestry team is reaching into all zip codes to deliver right-of-way tree plantings.Jared Smith & Steve Ashley, Louisville Parks & RecreationJared Smith is a Forestry Supervisor for the Division of Community Forestry. With a Bachelor of Science from the University of Louisville and a certificate as an environmental educator, Jared has spent a great deal of time immersed in the natural landscape of Kentucky. From educating future generations to overseeing the management and care of managed meadows, riparian buffers, woodland landscapes, and urban parks, he now brings that experience and knowledge to help develop the canopy of Louisville.
Steve Ashley is a 17-year veteran of Louisville Metro Parks, working to improve the urban forest of Louisville. He holds a B.S. degree in Botany from the University of Georgia, where he developed a love for plants and ecology.
The Economic Footprint and Quality-of-Life Benefits of Urban & Community Forestry in the U.S.
Economists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will present the final results of the first-ever national study of the economic outcomes of urban and community forestry. Using state-level Economic Census data (2017), surveys to public-sector managers, and i-Tree Landscape analysis, the report will offer a state-by-state look at the full spectrum of economic contributions of our urban forests.Dr. Eric Thompson & Dr. Mitch Herian, Bureau of Business Research, University of Nebraska-LincolnEric Thompson is the Director of the Bureau of Business Research and an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His research fields include regional economics, economic forecasting, and state and local economic development, including impact studies of Nebraska agriculture, Sandhill Cranes migration, and the UNL Athletic Department. Dr. Thompson also works on demographic projections, and analyses of economic development programs for Nebraska and cities in Nebraska. In his previous employment, he served as the Director of the Center for Business and Economic Research and a Research Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Kentucky. Eric received his Ph.D. in agricultural economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1992.
Mitch Herian serves as a Project Director at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Bureau of Business Research and has conducted a range of economic studies in Nebraska and the region. His work has been supported by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Justice, the U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. Army. Dr. Herian's research has been published in a variety of peer reviewed journals including the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, American Review of Public Administration, Policy Studies Journal, State and Local Government Review, and Ecology & Society.
Philly Tree Plan: A Community-Centered Approach to Strategic Planning
The City and its partners have just completed a 10-year strategic plan for the planting and care of Philly's urban forest, guided by the values of sustainability, community engagement, and environmental justice. This presentation will outline the community engagement approach for the Philly Tree Plan: to honor and uplift the experiences and stories of Philadelphia residents, with the ultimate goal of bringing the benefits of trees to the communities that need them the most, in the ways that support them the best.Erica Smith Fichman & Marisa Wilson, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation | Ari Miller, Hinge CollectiveView SlidesErica Smith Fichman has spent her career connecting people with plants. As the Community Forestry Manager at Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, she is the project lead for the Philly Tree Plan. Erica also supervises the amazing TreePhilly team who provide Philadelphia residents with the resources they need to plant and care for trees in their own back yard. She is the recipient of the Arbor Day Foundation's 2018 Trailblazer Award. Erica received a B.S. in biology from Haverford College and an M.S. in environmental horticulture from the University of California, Davis.
As Urban Forestry Community Organizer, Marisa Wilson is dedicated to promoting equity, climate resiliency, and community connection to nature and neighbors. She leads community engagement efforts for the Philly Tree Plan and supports collaboration with neighborhood residents to help achieve their vision for their local environment. She holds a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in Environmental Social Science from Davidson College.
Ari Miller is the director of design at Hinge Collective, a public interest design firm that puts community engagement and public participation at the forefront of their practice. As both a landscape architect and ISA Certified Arborist, Ari has always advocated for the integration and restoration of natural systems in urban design. Over the course of his 17 year career, Ari has worked as an arborist at Morris Arboretum, as a green roof design specialist at Roofmeadow, and has also lead large scale civic design projects such as the 11th Street Bridge Park in Washington, DC. At Hinge, he uses this experience to help communities find design solutions that best support human and ecological health in their own neighborhoods through the enhancement of public space and community-led planning. Ari has also been adjunct faculty at the Weitzman School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania and Jefferson University.
Using Trees and Microbes for Environmental Cleanup
Phytoremediation is the use of plants for environmental cleanup. Endophytes are microbes which live inside of plants and play a key role in plant health and their ability to tolerate environmental stresses. Intrinsyx Environmental has pioneered the use of unique endophytes to inoculate trees and grasses to enhance their ability to tolerate contaminated conditions and to more effectively clean pollution in groundwater and soil. Since the first use at a Superfund site in 2014, such systems have now been deployed at over 20 sites nationally.Galen O'Toole & Dr. John Freeman, Intrinsyx EnvironmentalGalen O'Toole is an environmental engineer and life-long student of biomimicry and environmental systems. At Intrinsyx Environmental, he supports projects deploying remediation systems using trees inoculated with endophytes to remediate polluted groundwater, surface water and soil. Prior to Intrinsyx, Galen worked as a Management Fellow at Valley Water, directing a research program developing novel treatment alternatives to safely discharge reverse osmosis concentrate to the sensitive South San Francisco Bay ecosystem.
John Freeman, Ph.D. is Chief Science Officer of Intrinsyx Environmental at NASA-Ames Research Park and Researcher at NASA-Ames Earth Sciences Forestry Division in Biospheric Branch SGE. His research includes microbial endophyte phytoremediation of petroleum hydrocarbons, chlorinated compounds, explosives, and tolerance mechanisms of metal/metalloid Hyperaccumulator and Salt/B halophytic plants. He manages twenty phytoremediation projects in USA collaborating with major Environmental Engineering Firms, EPA, USGS and USDA-ARS and Supervises laboratory research projects at NASA-Ames. Dr. Freeman received a dual major B.S. in Environmental Sciences and Microbiology minored in Chemistry at Northern Arizona University and a Ph.D. in Plant Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Purdue University.
Beverage & Networking Break With Exhibitors
enjoy morning refreshments and a chance to connect with friends old and new!
Urban-Industrial Forestry Actions in Coastal Communities of the Great Lakes
Urban forests are recognized to provide a range of environmental and public health benefits to industrial communities in high-density urban and industrial areas of the Great Lakes. Working with a diversity of coastal partners including corporations, community organizations, agencies, and port facilities in Chicago, Northwest Indiana, and SE Michigan, the Wildlife Habitat Council is actively implementing urban forestry and canopy equity actions to sequester stormwater runoff, local air pollution, and mitigate for urban heat in these regions.Daniel Goldfarb & Patricia Billette, Wildlife Habitat CouncilDaniel works for the Wildlife Habitat Council in urban and rural industrial communities to advance community forestry, habitat reclamation and restoration, and promote land stewardship through employee and community engagement. He develops and manages partnerships between industries, environmental agencies, and conservation NGOs to advance the Council's goals. Daniel is an Urban & Community Forester and Ecologist with 20 years of ecological land reclamation experience.
Patricia facilitates urban forestry and conservation programs between corporate partners and community organizations. Patricia earned her B.S. in Fisheries & Wildlife Science with a concentration in Conservation Genetics from Oregon State University. She spent ten years working in conservation education and community outreach prior to joining the Wildlife Habitat Council, and has extensive experience in educational initiatives across the world on projects from orangutan habitat protection in Borneo to juvenile sea turtle population monitoring in Uruguay.
Let's Talk: Environmental Equity
Join us for this interactive session featuring two short presentations, followed by discussion and Q&A among the panelists: "Using the Pursuit of Equitable Tree Canopy to Combat the Effects of Redlining in Lexington, KY" (Turner) & "A New Approach to Prioritizing Tree Planting Projects" (Candela & Colbert)Clay Turner, University of Kentucky | Eric Candela, American Forests | Julia Colbert, Arizona Sustainability AllianceClay Turner is a senior Natural Resources and Environmental Science major at the University of Kentucky and a student intern at the Urban Forest Initiative. After practicing law for several years, he decided to change careers in 2019 and hopes to one day help manage and conserve forests. Clay began working with UFI in the fall of 2020 and also gained research and field experience with Dr. Ellen Crocker of UK's Forest Health Extension services. Clay's research with UFI focuses primarily on the connection between the practice of redlining and tree canopy.
Eric Candela guides Tree Equity partnerships for American Forests in urban centers throughout the country. Eric gained an understanding of multi-disciplinary collaborations working for Congressman John Dingell as he developed the only international wildlife refuge in the United States.
Julia Colbert is Programs Director for the Arizona Sustainability Alliance a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Phoenix, Arizona, focused on five priority areas: urban forestry, sustainable food systems, renewable energy, conservation, and cities. She develops and manages high-impact projects and programs to bring sustainability solutions to Arizona communities. Julia is also on the Board of Directors for the Arizona Association for Environmental Education and a Faculty Associate in Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University.
Lightning Round: Technology Update
session includes four 7-minute presentations on a single topic
Mapping More Than Trees: Tools for Growing Your Network of Environmental Stewards
The Stewardship Mapping and Assessment Project (STEW-MAP) is a USDA Forest Service research methodology, community organizing approach, and partnership network mapping tool that answers the question: Who takes care of the local environment? STEW-MAP can help grow capacity and achieve goals around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as it identifies active agents of change working in vulnerable communities discovers the work of informal and grassroots groups, and extends potential partnerships "beyond the known knowns."Sophie Plitt, USDA Forest Service/Natural Areas ConservancySophie 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. Sophie has worked with the NYC Parks Department, New York Restoration Project, TreeKIT, and the New York Tree Trust researching, planning and implementing green infrastructure projects with the goal of deepening human-nature connections in cities.
An Analysis of the Accuracy of Photo-Based Plant ID Apps on 55 Tree Species
With the rise in popularity of photo-based plant identification apps as educational tools and for community science, some researchers have suggested that observed incorrect identifications call into question their accuracy. To study this, 6 popular mobile plant ID apps were tested on a set of 440 photos representing the leaves and bark of 55 tree species common to New Jersey. These apps are much more accurate in identifying leaf photos than bark photos and show little accuracy in successfully identifying photos to the species level in NJ.Ryan Schmidt, Rutgers UniversityRyan Schmidt is currently an undergraduate student in the Ecology, Evolution, & Natural Resources Program at Rutgers University. In his research, Ryan aims to gain insights into the biological diversity and function of urban landscapes and how to manage these environments for increased resilience in the face of an ever-changing climate. He is currently doing research into the current and past distributions of the "weedy" and nonnative plants of New Jersey as well as the use of photo-identification apps as a tool for tree identification and inventories.
Providing a Pulse on Every City's Tree Canopy
Assessing tree canopy in cities has become a core component of urban forestry programs. The data is used to set goals, evaluate impact, and enhance policies. Through a partnership between PlanIT Geo and EarthDefine, this information is available off-the-shelf, nationwide, with greater accuracy, preprocessed for use online or in GIS software, and being updated regularly. Cities, nonprofits, campuses and other organizations can obtain a high-resolution canopy analysis in days, not months, for a low annual subscription cost.Ian Hanou, PlanIt GeoIan 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, a company that specializes in urban forestry software, GIS, remote sensing, green infrastructure, and ecosystem services. He has managed hundreds of innovative urban forestry projects. In 2011, the Society of Municipal Arborists honored 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.
New Technology to Rescue Urban Trees from the Waste Stream
The Urban Lumber Market has developed an inventory management app with chain of custody certification capabilities through AncesTREE™, and an aggregated e-commerce and marketing platform for the urban, reclaimed and salvaged wood industry. This app and associated tech platforms will help urban wood professionals salvage more urban trees and quantify both the total carbon and board feet diverted from the waste stream.Jennifer Alger, Urban Lumber MarketJennifer Alger is President of Far West Forest Products and has been working with salvaged urban woods for over 20 years. She is the director of the Urban Wood Network Western Region, and the founder of USRW Inc. that has developed the first ever Urban Lumber Standards for North America. She is working with an expert team of developers and customer experience specialists on the build out of an inventory management system and enterprise application that will allow users to easily adhere to the industry Standards.
Urban Forestry Standards
Join us for this interactive session featuring two short presentations, followed by discussion and Q&A among the panelists: "Tree City USA: A Foundation for Urban & Community Forestry" (Tucker) & "A New Roadmap: Creating the SFI Urban & Community Forest Sustainability Standard" (Johnson)Alana Tucker, Arbor Day Foundation | Paul Johnson, Sustainable Forestry InitiativeAlana Tucker is a Program Manager for the Arbor Day Foundation, responsible for strategic direction of the Tree City USA and Tree Cities of the World programs. As an urban planner in Detroit, MI, she developed streetscape and parks planning projects prior to coming to the Foundation. She holds a Bachelor's in International Business from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Master's of Urban Planning from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Her favorite tree is the the quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides).
Paul Johnson is the Director of Urban and Community Forestry for the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. He is an International Society of Arboriculture Board Certified Master Arborist and a Society of American Foresters Certified Forester. Paul has a forestry degree from Oklahoma State University. He has been a state U&CF program leader, podcast host, radio talk show host, newspaper columnist, Extension horticulturist, University adjunct instructor, and plant health care specialist. Paul believes that #TreesAreKey to healthier, happier, safer communities.
included with conference registration
For full descriptions of each tour, click here: https://arborday.org/programs/pcf/field-experiences.cfm
Mapping for Equity in the Urban Forest
Urban tree equity analyses help ensure that the benefits of trees are distributed justly and fairly, especially for those who have historically been denied access to them. In this roundtable discussion, experts will present and demonstrate various tools and methods for prioritizing equity in urban forestry planning and operations, including American Forests' Tree Equity score, USDA Forest Service tools such as i-Tree, STEWMap, Urban FIA, UTC and Healthy Trees, Healthy Cities.
Partners in Community Forestry Networking Event
included with conference registration
date Thursday, Nov 18, 2021
Continental Breakfast With Exhibitors
included with conference registration
Keynote: Community As Corporation: Talent Retention Strategies for Low-Status America
As founder of Sustainable South Bronx, Majora Carter understands that trees and greenspaces are critical infrastructure, worthy of investment--especially in historically disadvantaged neighborhoods. She works to develop both sustainable spaces and businesses, connecting with local residents in the design phase of projects. She recognizes the potential for workforce development in urban greening to install and tend neighborhood-scale projects.Majora Carter, The Majora Carter GroupMajora Carter is a real estate developer, urban revitalization strategy consultant, MacArthur Fellow and Peabody Award winning broadcaster. She is responsible for the creation and successful implementation of numerous economic development projects, technology & green-infrastructure projects, policies and job training & placement systems. Carter applies her corporate consulting practice on talent-retention to reducing Brain Drain in American low-status communities. She has firsthand experience pioneering sustainable economic development in one of America's most storied low-status communities: the South Bronx.
Majora was born, raised and continues to live in the South Bronx. She is a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science (1984), Wesleyan University (1988 BA, Distinguished Alum) and New York University (MFA). After establishing Sustainable South Bronx (2001) and Green For All (2007), among other organizations, she opened this private consulting firm (2008), which was named Best for the World by B-Corp in 2014.
She and her teams develop vision, strategies and the type of development that transforms low-status communities into thriving mixed-use local economies. Her approach harnesses capital flows resulting from American re-urbanization to help increase wealth building opportunities across demographics left out of all historic financial tide changes. Majora's work produces long term fiscal benefits for governments, residents, and private real estate developments throughout North America.
Majora has served on the boards of the US Green Building Council, Ceres, The Wilderness Society, and the Andrew Goodman Foundation. She is quoted on the walls of the Smithsonian Museum of African-American History and Culture in DC: "Nobody should have to move out of their neighborhood to live in a better one."
Accelerating Climate Action in Cities
Cities around the world are raising their ambition to combat the climate crisis. But accelerated ambition is not always met with action on the ground. This discussion with share highlights from a new research study looking at the state of climate action in 350 cities around the world. It will also highlight ways in which urban forestry practitioners can make the case for increased climate action in their municipalities.Jacob Koch, Bloomberg AssociatesJacob Koch leads client engagements with city governments on a range of sustainability, climate, and resilience projects, including low carbon development, carbon emissions reductions, tree planting and greening, and strategic urban planning.
Previously, Jacob worked for the Office of Healthcare Transformation and Innovation at the Greater Los Angeles Veterans Administration where he led a long-range strategic planning process for the comprehensive homeless program and forged new partnerships to better integrate patient-centered care, expand housing options, and provide legal services to homeless veterans. Prior to that, Jacob worked for EMBARQ Brasil in Porto Alegre and Rio de Janeiro where he directed a project to insert sustainable mobility into a city-wide neighborhood upgrading program and led one of the first studies to generate empirical data on transportation use in Rio's favelas. Jacob has a B.A. in Political Science from Yale University and a Master's degree in Urban Planning from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where he was part of a planning studio that was awarded the 2015 National Student Project Award.
Storytelling in the Media
Please join us for a panel 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.Panelists TBD
Beverage & Networking Break With Exhibitors
This American Forest #3: Who Do You Think You Are?
This week on TAF, we'll speak with industry leaders about credentials: why we have them, who should have them, how we can make them more meaningful to the public, and what changes are coming in the near future for practitioners to be aware of. We'll also take a look at how credentialing is adapting to social change and new directions in the industry.Graham Herbst, Nebraska Forest Service | guest speakers TBDGraham Herbst is a native Nebraskan that loves growing trees and food, exploring the beautiful state of Nebraska, and planting forests with the people he meets. After working in the landscape and arboriculture industries, he moved to the Nebraska Forest Service to promote innovative urban forestry projects as the Community Forester for Eastern Nebraska. Graham holds a B.S. in Horticulture and an M.S. in Urban Studies from the University of Nebraska, is Vice President of Omaha Permaculture, and President of the Midwestern Chapter of ISA.
Assessing the Long-Term Efficacy of a Strict Tree Preservation Ordinance
Tree preservation ordinances are becoming more common to protect existing trees before, during, and after construction because preserving existing tree canopy is often more efficient than removal and replanting. We studied the long-term effectiveness of a strict tree preservation ordinance in Highland Park, IL by assessing 645 trees at 102 construction sites, three to 15 years after construction. We will also share results of a survey of home builders about their activities near trees during construction.Dr. Keith O'Herrin, Union County, NC | Kaitlyn Pike, University of British ColumbiaKeith O'Herrin has worked in municipal forestry for several governments over the last decade, and is currently the County Forester for Union County, NC. His research has included ways to improve the urban forestry profession for practitioners and how to diversify recruitment into urban forestry (Urban Forestry 2020). He has also studied the efficacy of ordinances to preserve trees during construction, homebuilders' knowledge of trees and their activities when building homes near trees, and new homeowners' knowledge and perceptions of trees and nature.
Kaitlyn Pike is a Ph.D. candidate in the Urban Natures Lab at The University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Her research explores urban forest governance, green equity, and public perceptions of democracy, justice, green spaces, and the environment.
Urban Tree Canopy Correlations and Solutions by On Track Academy Students
This presentation will share a story about collaborative entities who worked with students to develop and implement a solution for their community by studying and planting urban trees. In this project teachers at Spokane Public School On Track Academy studied the tree canopy across the city and confirmed a correlation between socioeconomics and the tree canopy. As a result the teachers shared the challenge with their students who then researched a solution to plant and promote further expansion of urban trees in Spokane.Lisa Mattson & Chris Burke, Spokane Public SchoolsLisa Mattson-Coleman is the founding and sustaining Principal of On Track Academy in Spokane Public Schools. A former high-school counselor, Lisa believes that education must focus on the the whole child. A student champion and supporter of student driven education, Lisa's core values are Connection and Growth. Lisa is proud to represent On Track Academy as the 2017 Washington Association of Learning Alternatives, High School Administrator of the Year, 2011 Chase Youth Adult Asset Builder, 2011 YWCA Woman of Achievement for Education.
Chris Burke is the Assistant Principal at On Track Academy (OTA) in Spokane Public Schools. He has worked at OTA for the last 12 years as both a teacher and administrator. Chris loves working with students and teachers in a non-traditional setting, and is a huge proponent of hands-on learning.
Let's Talk: Workforce Development
Join us for this interactive session featuring two short presentations, followed by discussion and Q&A among the panelists: "CommuniTree: A Collaborative Initiative for Urban Forest Stewardship & Workforce Development" (Birchfield, Vergara & Bennett) & "Urban WildFIRE: Diversifying the UCF Workforce Through a Pilot Program" (Dowtin & Young)Jennifer Birchfield, Purdue University Northwest | Sam Vergara & Ryan Bennett, Student Conservation Association | Dr. Asia Dowtin, Michigan State University | Dr. De'Etra Young, Tennessee State UniversityJen Birchfield is the Northwest Indiana Urban Waters Federal Partnership Ambassador with Purdue University Northwest. She coordinates a collaboration of over 80 local, state, and federal partners working to connect communities to their urban waters. CommuniTree is an outgrowth of Urban Waters, and Jen helps to coordinate the initiative, focusing on partner communication and community engagement. She holds a bachelor's in natural resources and environmental science from Purdue and is currently pursuing a master's in communication from Purdue Northwest.
Sam Vergara is the Chicagoland Program Manager for the Student Conservation Association (SCA). Sam started with SCA in 2008 as an intern with the Urban Prescribed Fire Crew and in 2009 became SCA's Chicago Program Coordinator. Sam has over 10 years of working with youth in outdoor education, and creates opportunities for youth to empower themselves in changing their communities. Sam has a great sense of what it takes to be in a crew and lead youth programs and strives to make sure his participants get a memorable experience from their time with SCA.
Ryan Bennett graduated from Indiana University Northwest with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. During college, he took environmental science classes, through which he was connected to the Student Conservation Association (SCA) as a volunteer. This connection helped him receive a scholarship to study arboreal sciences as well as the operations of the SCA's local work under Drew Hart with the USFS. Ryan was hired on SCA's Calumet Tree Conservation Corps as an Assistant Crew Leader in 2019 and has returned as the Crew Leader for the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
Asia Dowtin is an Assistant Professor in Michigan State University's Department of Forestry. Her work explores the relationships that exist between urban canopy structure, spatial context, and plant-water interactions and is intended to broaden our understanding of the influence of species composition and surrounding land use on urban forest function. She holds an extension appointment, which she uses, in part, to develop urban forestry educational materials for K-12 curriculum, continuing education, and workforce development programming.
De'Etra Young serves as the Interim Associate Dean of Academics and Land-Grant Programs in the College of Agriculture and an Associate Professor at Tennessee State University. She also co-leads Earth Horizons, an NSF-funded project, with Vanderbilt University to increase minority representation in Geosciences. She is the Project Director for the 1890 Environmental Justice Academy and several other projects to broaden minority participation in the food, agriculture, natural resources, and human sciences.
Planting Free Trees on Private Property in Nashville, TN: Resident Motivations and Hesitations
To meet canopy goals, tree-planting campaigns must plant on private properties. Meaningful community engagement is critical, as well as understanding resident motivations or barriers towards planting trees. Through surveys with past recipients of free 1"-caliper trees and door-to-door canvassing in a pilot neighborhood, the Root Nashville campaign conducted a study to uncover tree acceptance and motivations and barriers. The study also revealed the importance of grassroots community leadership to increase the number of trees planted.Meg Morgan, Cumberland River Compact | Dr. Paul Ries, Oregon State UniversityMeg Morgan is the Root Nashville Campaign Manager at the Cumberland River Compact. Root Nashville is a public-private campaign, led by the Cumberland River Compact and Metro Nashville, to plant 500,000 trees in Davidson County by 2050. In her role as campaign manager for this citywide effort, Meg coordinates campaign operations, including community outreach, marketing and communications, volunteer management, and partner engagement. Her favorite tree is the state tree of Tennessee, the tulip poplar.
Paul Ries, Ed.D. directs the Graduate Certificate in Urban Forestry Program at Oregon State University, where he teaches online courses in urban forestry and arboriculture. He is the principal consultant for Insightful Nature LLC, a natural resources consulting, communications, and training company. Paul holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Natural Resources and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. He has over 30 years of experience in the natural resources and urban forestry fields, and was ISA President in 2017-18.
Lightning Round: Community Engagement & More
session includes four 7-minute presentations on a single topic
COVID, Health Care Workers, and Trees
In the spring of 2021, community forestry staff with Missouri Department of Conservation used the Arbor Day Foundation's Community Canopy program to offer free trees to all long term care staff in the 15 counties that make up Central Missouri as a way to say thank you for the service provided during the pandemic. In this program, we were able to reach a non-traditional audience for what they have done for the health of our citizens, while showing how trees benefit health. How can community forestry be relevant and helpful in 2021?Ann Koenig, Missouri Department of ConservationAnn Koenig has worked as a Community Forester for the Missouri Department of Conservation serving Central Missouri for over 20 years and spent three years developing and implementing MDC's "Trees Work" campaign to increase awareness of the benefits of trees. In 2019 she was awarded the International True Professional in Arboriculture award through International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). Ann is a certified arborist, graduate of the Municipal Forestry Institute, TRAQ qualified, an ISA exam proctor and four time participant in ISA's International Tree Climbing Competition.
Urban Forestry Meets Community Engagement
The Arizona Department of Forestry is using a holistic community engagement and facilitative approach to blend traditional urban forestry work with tried and true outreach and education. We've partnered with the Arizona Master Naturalist Association to field test projects related to emerging pests, urban heat, climate change, and showcasing AZ's Magnificent Trees. The goal is to connect urban forestry practitioners directly to community members, serving as a liaison for co-designing programs meaningful to both communities and city managers.LoriAnne Barnett, Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire ManagementLoriAnne Barnett Warren is the Urban Forestry Specialist for the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management. She oversees the Community Challenge Grants program, manages Arizona's Magnificent Tree Program, and provides outreach and education about the benefits and maintenance of urban forests. As a professional environmental educator she loves collaborative projects and teaching in and about the environment. LoriAnne also is the Executive Director of the Arizona Master Naturalist Program and the Arizona Association for Environmental Education.
Carbon Neutrality: A Case Study at the Kalamazoo Nature Center
The Kalamazoo Nature Center has connected people with nature for over six decades and sees climate response as a strategic priority for the organization's future. In 2021, KNC completed its first baseline greenhouse gas emissions inventory of facilities and operations and established a baseline and targets for meeting KNC's 2050 carbon neutrality goal. The project team sees this as an opportunity to test how nonprofits, municipal governments, universities, or other organizations might incorporate forests into their own climate plans.Jessica Simons, Kalamazoo Nature CenterJessica Simons serves as Vice President for Conservation Stewardship at the Kalamazoo Nature Center, where she oversees land management, research, ecological services, and community science activities. Simons previously owned Verdant Stewardship, a consulting service that guided multi-state urban wood use programs, regional urban agriculture education programs, and the national Firewood Scout program. She has a B.A. in Biology from West Virginia University and an M.S. in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan.
Two Hundred Years of Canopy and Socio-Economic Change in the Chicago Region
The urban forest is not equitably distributed. This pattern has been observed across the United States and while its consequences are the subject of abundant social, medical, and ecological research, its origins are poorly understood. Trees are slow growing, and the impacts of urban forest planning and management have decades or even centuries long legacies on tree canopy distribution. We will build on previous studies that have correlated socio-economic patterns and tree canopy by examining how the canopy has developed over two centuries.Lindsay Darling, The Morton ArboretumLindsay Darling studies the socio-economic factors that shape the development and current state of Midwestern urban forests. This research explains the urban forest's inequitable distribution and offers insights on how to improve policies that shape its future. She is currently a Ph.D. student at Purdue University and a fellow with the Center for Tree Science at the Morton Arboretum. Lindsay earned a B.S. in biochemistry from Indiana University and an M.S. in plant biology and conservation from Northwestern University.
included with conference registration
Reforesting the Bluegrass: Emerging Plant Communities on Reforested Urban Sites in Central Kentucky
Reforest the Bluegrass is a highly successful urban reforestation initiative in Lexington, KY, which has planted over 140,000 trees on over 190 acres in Lexington. While the program's community engagement is well-known and applauded, its ecological significance is unknown. This presentation reports on the first plant community analysis of Reforest the Bluegrass sites, highlighting the establishment of a mostly native tree overstory and threats posed by invasive understory species.Dr. Kenton Sena & Julia Maugans, University of Kentucky | Heather Wilson, Lexington-Fayette Urban County GovernmentKenton Sena earned a B.A. in biology from Asbury University, then a M.S. in Forestry and a Ph.D. in Integrated Plant and Soil Sciences from the University of Kentucky. He is currently a lecturer in the Lewis Honors College at the University of Kentucky, where he teaches the Honors Foundations Seminar ("Knowledge and Society") as well as honors seminars in Restoration Ecology and Environmental themes in Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.
Julia Maugans is a senior at the University of Kentucky studying Natural Resources and Environmental Science with a focus on Environmental Education. She currently works for the State of Kentucky Urban Wildlife Network and the department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences as an Outreach Assistant. She plans to attend graduate school after graduation.
Heather Wilson earned her B.S. and M.S. in Forestry at the University of Kentucky, and is currently the City Arborist for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. Heather is a board member for the Tree Week planning team, and part of the Urban Forest Initiative working group. She oversees the Reforest the Bluegrass community reforestation program, manages reforested sites, and directs other urban forests programming in Lexington.
Standards in Urban Forestry: Are You Ahead of the Game or Behind the 8-Ball (or Does it Really Matter) ?
To grow and maintain an urban forest is a feat unto itself. But when you need to reach for a deeper understanding of where your program's potential lies, what do you do? In this session, learn about a new tool that helps guide you to those strengths and opportunities within your program. Understand how the Tree City USA Growth Award, the Sustainable Urban Forest Indicators and the SFI standards lead you to a program that is growing and thriving.Dana Karcher, Davey Resource GroupDana Karcher is a project developer and area manager for Davey Resource Group, working with communities helping them achieve their green infrastructure goals. She has worked closely with planners, architects, engineers, landscape architects, elected officials, and community groups to increase awareness of the importance of trees and to recognize the urban forest as a valuable resource. She has been active in issues that assure the health and well-being of residents through the use of urban forestry as a solution to community challenges. Dana has a degree in Political Science from California State University and frequently speaks on urban and community forestry throughout the U.S. She is a Certified Arborist and a Municipal Specialist and President of the Board of Directors of the International Society of Arboriculture.
Association Between Residential Green Cover and Direct Health Care Costs in Northern California
Prior studies have shown higher green cover levels to be associated with a wide variety of beneficial health outcomes. If these associations are causal as evidence suggests, they may be reflected in lower health utilization and therefore lower health care costs. We sought to determine if residential green cover was associated with direct health care costs. Above-median green cover was associated with lower direct health care costs, raising the possibility that greening can have a significant healthcare cost impact across the population.Dr. Matthew Browning, Clemson UniversityMatt Browning is an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Park, Recreation, and Tourism Management and director of the Virtual Reality and Nature Lab at Clemson University. His research takes place at the nexus of environmental science and public health, with a focus on examining the ways in which nature experience benefits mental and physical health, and potential causal mechanisms underlying these relationships. His holds degrees from Oberlin College, Virginia Tech, Yale School for the Environment and has worked as a park ranger in UT, IA, and NC.
Carbon Smart Wood: Unlocking Value From Urban Wood Waste
Each year 36 million trees are removed in US cities. The vast majority are mulched, landfilled, or burned -- an estimated $89-786 million in annual economic loss. Cambium Carbon seeks to turn this waste material into a new class of wood products with powerful local impact, reducing carbon emissions and generating revenue to support urban forest restoration. This session will discuss case studies for how governments, arborists, and local partners can build a regenerative system of wood reuse.Ben Christensen & Marisa Repka, Cambium CarbonBen Christensen started Cambium Carbon to create a new way to address climate change at scale in the United States. He holds a Masters of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, with a specialization in Business and the Environment. Ben previously worked on the Natural Infrastructure team at the World Resources Institute. He is dedicated to scaling carbon removal implementation through novel finance and social mechanisms.
Marisa Repka leads stakeholder engagement, city consulting, and impact analysis for Cambium Carbon. She holds a Master's in Environmental Management from the Yale School of Environment, with a specialization in business and her past experience working in city government, private sector, and NGOs make her well suited to navigate the nexus of city operations and business development.
Urban Silviculture: Applying Rural Forestry Practices for More Resilient Urban Forests
Approximately 1.7 million acres of urban parkland in the U.S. is made up of natural areas, much of it forested. However, these urban forested natural areas often do not have the formal management or governance structures as rural forests. Borrowing from a traditionally rural framework, like silviculture, can help keep these forests healthy for the future. We present a high-level adaptation of silviculture for urban natural areas.Brittany Wienke, Natural Areas ConservancyBrittany Wienke is the Forests in Cities Senior Fellow at the Natural Areas Conservancy (NAC). Prior to joining NAC, Brittany worked as a forester and research in rural and urban areas. She holds a Masters of Forestry degree from the Yale School of the Environment.
Introducing the 3-30-300 Rule for Urban Forestry
Simple rules like Santamour's 10-20-30 rule for urban tree diversity have greatly influenced the practice of urban and community forestry. NBSI recently launched a new '3-30-300 rule' for urban forestry, based on evidence on the benefits of trees, green spaces, and canopy cover. The rule calls for seeing at least 3 trees from every home, live in areas with at least 30% canopy cover, and live no more than 300 meters from the nearest public green space. This rule represents a powerful new way to communicate the benefits of urban forests.Dr. Cecil Konijnendijk, Nature Based Solutions InstituteCecil Konijnendijk has more than 25 years of experience studying, teaching, and advising on aspects of urban forestry and nature-based solutions. He is widely considered as one of the world's leading urban forestry experts, and his work has been featured by leading media outlets such as CNBC and in international documentary films. A Dutch national, he has lived and worked in Europe, Asia, and North America. Since 2016 he has been a professor of urban forestry at the University of British Columbia, where he now heads the new Master of Urban Forestry Leadership program. Cecil helped found the leading academic journal Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, and edited seminal textbooks such as The Routledge Handbook of Urban Forestry. He is currently Editor-in-chief of Arboriculture and Urban Forestry, the scientific journal of the International Society of Arboriculture. Cecil is passionate about using trees and nature to develop better cities, and always stresses the importance of building meaningful relationships between people and places. He has advised international organizations such as the United Nations and the European Commission, as well as national and local governments in more than 30 countries, and was an invited panelist at the 8th Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe in April 2021. Cecil currently lives in Barcelona from where he co-directs the Nature Based Solutions Institute.
Crafting Realistic, Inclusive and Successful Tree Planning and Planting Campaigns
Successful tree planting campaigns use data to target where trees are most needed to reduce urban heating, expand walkability or improve air and water quality. Communities will learn how to analyze and apply spatial data to set achievable goals for strategic tree planting campaigns on both public and private lands. Engaging the private sector requires creative outreach, education and messaging to reach diverse audiences. Three campaigns were launched to demonstrate best practices from the guide on using data to plan and implement a canopy goal.Karen Firehock & Matthew 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 a Master of Environmental Planning.
Matt Lee works with communities to determine protection and conservation strategies for natural resources, with a focus on community forests. He is researching ways to incentivize tree planting and care on both public and private property, as well as how to maximize landscape connectivity in developing areas. He coordinates GIC's Resilient Coastal Forest projects for Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia. He recently completed a review of state policies for the Virginia Department of Forestry and is currently completing a mitigation manual for storm readiness.
Using Big-Data and Machine Learning to Examine the Connections Between Nature and Health
Our current built environment is dramatically different from the one we occupied for 99% of human history, as it physically separates us from the natural world. As we have begun systematically studying the impact of this fundamental change, links between declining nature exposure and increasing depression, anxiety, heart disease, and obesity over the last five decades are becoming clear. A large and growing body of scientific literature demonstrates that contact with nature can lead to measurable psychological and physiological health benefits.Jared Hanley, NatureQuantJared Hanley is a co-founder and CEO of NatureQuant, a research and technology firm building tools to assess and promote nature exposure. Prior to founding NatureQuant, Jared used data science and statistical modeling techniques and provided advisory services in finance, energy, and real estate applications. He is a published author and speaker on ERISA laws and plans. He has a B.A. in Economics and a B.A. in Cognitive Science, both from Yale University. He is a FINRA registered securities principal and a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Lightning Round: Municipal Forestry
session includes four 7-minute presentations on a single topic
More Than Just Municipal Objects: One City's Focus on Trees
Faced with a city budget of $0 for trees again, Cedarburg Green, a small, community non-profit led an all-out effort to advocate for its city's trees. Join us on a journey through 2020 to learn how it educated decision makers, residents, and children, AND achieved its goal of a 2021 city budget which included $30K for tree planting, $50K for site prep, and more funding for forestry operations under the slogan, "Plant trees as if life depended on it!"Jeanne Mueller, Cedarburg GreenJeanne Mueller is a volunteer with Cedarburg Green, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting Cedarburg's urban forest. She is the owner and lead guide with Red Knows, LLC, a small business dedicated to doing work that matters and makes a difference in people's lives. She is curious, finds joy in being challenged, and possesses a unique ability to generate ideas and turn them into action. She lives by the motto: "Show up on time, with a purpose, and do what you say you are going to do."
Reinvesting Tree Mitigation Funds into Community Forestry Programs
The City of Austin has one of the strongest Tree Preservation Ordinances in the country. One element of the ordinance allows for "Tree Mitigation Funds" which can be used for educational programming. The City of Austin partners with Arborholic, LLC, to deliver education programs focused on tree care, tree preservation, urban forest conservation and arborist certification. This presentation will discuss these programs, their successes, future plans and lessons learned over the past four years.Rebecca Johnson, Arborholic, LLCRebecca 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 Women in Arboriculture 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.
Preparing Our Urban Forests for a Changing Climate
Climate vulnerability ratings are a relatively new approach to climate adaptation in urban forestry. The University of Kentucky (UK) Urban Forest Initiative (UFI) has applied this thinking to three sectors of the urban forest: UK campus, The UK Arboretum, and Lexington residential street trees. Each of these sectors requires unique management approaches, but all are affected by our changing climate. UFI has been working closely with the urban forest managers of each of these areas to enhance climate resilience across Lexington's urban forests.Claire Hilbrecht, Urban Forest InitiativeClaire Hilbrecht is a Natural Resources and Environmental Science major at the University of Kentucky, class of 2021. She has been working as a student intern with the Urban Forest Initiative's climate adaptation project since May 2020. Claire's primary academic interest is environmental sustainability, and she is drawn to research that focuses on the relationship between humans and the natural environment. In particular, she is interested in social equity and climate resilience in urban forestry.
TreeCATs: Collegiate and Citizen Arboriculture Training
TreeCATs (Collegiate and Citizen Arboriculture Training) enhance urban and community forestry knowledge and stewardship through a workshop series engaging participants with foundational concepts including the benefits, challenges and maintenance associated with a vibrant community forest. Expert speakers cover a diversity of topics (e.g. tree and soil care, social equity, and climate adaptation) and place-based projects include developing a guided tree tour has trainees apply course concepts to the community forest just outside their doors.Nic Williamson, University of KentuckyNic Williamson is Coordinator for the Urban Forest Initiative at the University of Kentucky (UK), as well as Program Coordinator for the Undergraduate Certificate in Urban and Community Forestry . He has an M.S. in Forestry and Natural Resources, is an ISA Board Certified Master Arborist, and a Professional Environmental Educator in the State of Kentucky. He lives, breathes (literally), and sleeps trees!
Refreshment & Networking Break With Exhibitors
enjoy afternoon refreshments before the final sessions of the conference!
Green Heart Louisville: Examining the Effects of Planting on Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Health
Louisville has recently become an urban laboratory examining the ability of large-scale tree plantings to reduce exposure to harmful air pollutants and improve the heart health of communities. This Green Heart Project is following the health, well-being, and pollution exposure of over 700 residents before and after planting thousands of large trees. We seek to learn how tree planting can reduce exposure to air pollution and improve heart health. This will inform evidence-based planting strategies to improve public health in cities worldwide.Chris Chandler, The Nature Conservancy | Dr. Aruni Bhatnagar, Dr. Kandi Walker & Dr. Joy Hart, University of Louisville | Dr. Jay Turner, University of Washington in St. Louis | Kedrick Stanfield, Louisville GrowsChris Chandler is Director of Urban Conservation for the Kentucky Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, based in Louisville, KY. Chris holds degrees in communication and anthropology from the University of Louisville, and a Climate Change and Health Certificate from the Yale School of Public Health, and has more than ten years of experience serving as project director and business developer for ecological consultants and NGO's. A Certified Arborist, Chris also serves in leadership positions with local non-profit and community-based organizations. Chris has a passion for connecting conservation work to public health, and loves getting outside into nature with his wife, three children and two dogs.
Aruni Bhatnagar is Professor of Medicine and Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, having joined the University of Louisville in 1998. Dr. Bhatnagar is also a Distinguished University Scholar and Director of the Diabetes and Obesity Center at the University of Louisville. He was elected a fellow of the American Heart Association in 2005. He is a graduate of Kanpur University in India and received his post-doctoral training at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. His research interests include cardiovascular effects of environmental pollutants, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular complications of diabetes, and sepsis. His work has led to the identification of several biochemical pathways for aldehyde metabolism and detoxification, as well as a better understanding of how pollutants and toxicants affect cardiovascular function and induce cardiovascular disease. Dr. Bhatnagar's research is supported by several grants from the National Institutes of Health, and has led to the creation of the new field of environmental cardiology.
Jay Turner is Vice Dean for Education in the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. A chemical engineer by training, Jay focuses on environmental science and engineering. Prior to joining Washington University in 1994, Dr. Turner was an Air Quality Specialist at the Federal Highway Administration. Professor Turner is a 2003 recipient of WashU's Distinguished Faculty Award. He is a five-time recipient of the School of Engineering & Applied Science Professor of the Year Award (conferred by the school's graduating class) and in 2013 he received the inaugural Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Professor Turner is past president of the American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR). In 2021 he completed six years of service on the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory board (SAB) including chairing two SAB panels and chairing the Science and Technological Achievement Awards (STAA) Committee of the EPA's SAB.
Kandi Walker is Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Louisville. For over 15 years her work has explored the intersection between health and interpersonal communication looking at how people perceive the social world surrounding health issues. Her research primarily focuses on health, family, and interpersonal communication; specifically, her research examines how people talk and behave when an illness is present, how people perceive healthy lifestyles, and how people perceive and communicate about risky health behaviors. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. in Communications, and completed her Ph.D. at the University of Denver in 2000.
Joy Hart is Professor in the Communications Department at the University of Louisville and is the Executive Director of the University Honors Program. She joined the University of Louisville faculty in 1990 and teaches courses and conducts research on organizational and health communication. In particular, her work examines discourse, communication skill, culture, and message strategies. She holds B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Kentucky, completing her doctorate in Organizational Communication in 1988.
Ked Stanfield is Executive Director for Louisville Grows, having worked previously in Louisville Metro Government as a Compliance and Enforcement Supervisor. Ked has a Bachelor of Arts in Health Sciences and a Masters of Public Health from Eastern Kentucky University. He is an active community supporter of programs in West and South Louisville, is on the Board of Supervisors for the Jefferson County Soil and Water Conservation District, and has worked on numerous programs with Habitat for Humanity. Ked's interests include fishing, chickens, and gardening.
Say farewell to your colleagues--and to Louisville--after some short closing remarks. See you next year!Dan Lambe, Arbor Day FoundationDan Lambe is the president of the Arbor Day Foundation, founded in 1972, which has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organisation dedicated to planting trees, with over one million members, supporters, and valued partners. Dan leads the strategic development of programs and partnerships through which the Foundation strives to educate, recognize,and empower people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees.
Partner Event: SUFC Policy Discussion
Join the Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition for a lively policy discussion!