City Trees

September/October 2016

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!

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Page 37 of 39

38 City Trees Environmental consultant Karen Emmerich serves on the New York State Urban Forestry Council (NYSUFC) Board, on the NYS Region 3 ReLeaf Committee, and as tree commission chair for the Town of Warwick, NY. Last February, the NYSUFC provided a partial scholarship for Emmerich to attend the Municipal Forestry Institute (MFI). She was one of a class of 39 participants. "Without hesitation, I would encour- age anybody who is in the urban for- estry field to attend MFI," she says. "Do whatever you have to do to get there! I found it so incredibly valu- able." She says the leadership skill building and the networking were the most meaningful to her. She especial- ly urges young people to go, to get the benefits of MFI early in their career. Emmerich lives in Warwick, NY with her husband Kurt. Together they own Emmerich Tree Farm, which specializes in Christmas trees and also provides a scenic setting for weddings. Kurt grew up on the land, having planted thousands of trees on the property Karen Emmerich Reflects on MFI by Michelle Sutton, Editor, City Trees with his parents and siblings in the 1960s and 70s. The Scotch pines around the ponds and the Norway and White spruce around the property were planted by the family with trees from NYSDEC's Saratoga nursery. "I'm only a 'junior partner' in that operation," Karen says, which is good since she is busy working in stormwater planning both as a consultant (Freshwater Environmental Consultants) and for Lehman & Getz Consulting Engineers. In addition to working for engineering firms since achieving her MS in Water Resource Management at the University of Wisconsin-Madison about thirty years ago, Emmerich has worked for NY State for a legislative commission on water resources in Long Island. How does urban forestry tie in with Emmerich's consulting work? She says, "It helps me a great deal in my storm- water consulting, where trees are an integral part of bioretention areas, rain gardens, vegetated swales … I was always interested in urban trees but getting more deeply into stormwater management naturally lead to expand- ing my knowledge of trees." She has also gotten involved with different municipalities who ask her to write grant applications or help them select trees or address tree-sidewalk conflicts. "It's extremely varied and I'm thrilled that my career took this turn," she says. In 2015 Emmerich joined the NYSUFC Board. Fellow Board Members Lori Brockelbank (MFI alum) and Andy Hillman (MFI teaching cadre member) urged her to attend MFI and helped her secure the partial scholarship from the NYSUFC. Karen Emmerich • Photo by Michelle Sutton The 2016 graduating class of MFI, with the teaching cadre up front. Photo by Paul Ries

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