City Trees

September/ October 2011

City Trees is a premier publication focused on urban + community forestry. In each issue, you’ll learn how to best manage the trees in your community and more!

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 4 of 39

President's Message Doug Still D o you remember when you first became interested in trees and urban forestry? Or how about when you first learned what urban forestry is? I was a young college graduate in New York City with a degree in Art History when I first saw the light. I met a friend's roommate who was working in the "Street Trees" division of the Parks Department. My first thought was, "You do what, now?" A bit later, I began taking some terrific classes in botany and horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden. My favorite class was tree identifica- tion, which was pure joy. But the seed was already planted, so to speak, as I remembered my friend's roommate. I began to notice how important the trees were to my neighborhood in Brooklyn, researched more specifically what urban forestry was, applied to graduate school, and voilá, a municipal arborist was born! It might not have happened if I didn't meet Ken. I'm sometimes flabbergasted that I meet people who have no concept of what I do, or that such a job existed. I suppose I shouldn't be. Although trees are highly visible and important to the public and our neighborhoods and our city crews and contractors work directly in front of residents' homes, manag- ers remain largely hidden except for the occasional public meeting or newspaper interview. If long-time residents and the world at large don't know who we are, how can young people learn that municipal arborists have the best job in the world, plant and manage public trees, help create cleaner air and water, and make our communities wonderful places to be? It's real contact with example-setting people that opens the brain to career possibilities. Be a mentor! It is so important to make time on your schedule to meet with youth groups, orga- nize volunteer projects for college students, speak to young- sters about the importance of trees, and employ interns. You will open their eyes to our work and show them an exciting career path, and you will be contributing to our profession by encouraging the next generation of municipal arborists. Think of it as the civic-minded thing to do, bettering the world. As Jerri explains in her column, the SMA Municipal Forestry Intern Program is truly important. SMA is special because our membership is ready and willing to mentor students—and just as importantly, each other. That's what a good professional society is all about. Who knew back in 1989 that the strug- gling art history major would later serve as the President of the Society of Municipal Arborists? Weird! But here I am, and it has truly been an honor to serve as President of such a great organization this past year. Executive Director's Message Jerri J. LaHaie T here's hope for the future of urban forestry! We have just visited with some of the interns and city arborists who were brave enough to participate in the launch of SMA's Municipal Forestry Intern Program (MFI-P). The students who participated were excited about the opportu- nity to learn first-hand what the job of municipal arbor- ist entails, and as they near the end of their ten-week program, they are just as enthusiastic about their future in urban forestry-related jobs. This summer we placed interns with Dan Hartman in Cleveland, Tennessee; Greg Ward in Surrey, British Columbia; David Lefcourt in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Walt Warriner in Santa Monica, California; and Melinda Adams in Fort Worth, Texas. The student interns came from Virginia Tech, Stephen F. Austin State University, Carson Newman College, and West Virginia University. Some of them travelled across the country to live and work and to learn about urban tree species they weren't familiar with back home. Much planning went into MFI-P. Special thanks goes out to our Advisory Committee, which included Brenda Allen, Richard Hauer, Susan Day, Hans Williams, Andra Johnson, Bob Benjamin, Dan Hartman, David Sivyer, Gene Hyde, and Tami Sadonoja. Led by Texas AgriLife Extension Specialist Melanie Kirk (who, in addition to heading up this project, is herself a former intern), these folks are responsible for the smooth and suc- cessful launch of MFI-P. Without the support of the U.S. Forest Service, particularly Director of Cooperative Forestry Paul Ries and Program Specialists Keith Cline and Nancy Stremple, this would still be just another great idea waiting to happen. There is a real need to bring young people into this profession, and everyone mentioned here understands and champions this effort. I hope you are attending the SMA Conference in Milwaukee later this month, where you will get to hear presentations from our interns about their experiences this summer. Spend some time with them at their dis- play in the exhibit area and get to know Dustin Mays, Glen Hudspeth, Thomas Turnbull, Andrew Benjamin, and Robert Boehle. I think you will be just as encour- aged as we are about the future of urban forestry. 5

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of City Trees - September/ October 2011