urban forestry leader
As a leader in urban forestry, my mission is to inspire an appreciation for greening in others
in order to ensure the protection of nature in urban spaces.
Today, everywhere we turn we hear about climate change, water that is too polluted to drink or swim in, heat islands and other environmental issues. Urban forestry is one of the most powerful and accessible solutions to countering these environmental troubles we’re facing.
I combine a passion for trees with a desire to share that with others, as well as over twenty years of on-the-ground practical urban forestry experience. My professional training and degrees in plant science, organizational management, social ecology, and environmental education give me a strong foundation in the science, education, social research, and program management that create the underpinning for urban forestry programs. I use my training to focus on the human dimension of natural resources, managing projects that connect people with nature.
Projects I have administered and partnered on include everything from an award-winning curriculum for plant science in the elementary classroom to organizational restructuring and strategic planning. Recently, I was hired by the State Department of Forestry and Wildlife to oversee the technical research and writing of the Congressionally Mandated Statewide Assessment and Strategy. I have authored three books, most recently completing the eBook-Inspirational Gardeners, Growing Food for the Soul Stories from Hawaii.
I have a true love for trees and greening and also a logistical mind to make things happen and a knack for making urban forestry meaningful to a wide range of populations. I am an advocate for trees, nature, school gardens, farm to school programs, green infrastructure, walkable communities and quite simply of trees and plants in our urban areas, because essentially that is what makes them healthier and more beautiful places for all of us to live.
As a project manager, I’m very skillful and intuitive in determining what would be the most beneficial green initiative according to the social, economic, and environmental requirements of a group or area. As a leader, I create a synergistic team environment. My strength is in identifying the needs of the communities and stakeholders and responding to those. I am also adept at seeing the strengths in team-members, enhancing those skills, and most effectively utilizing them for the benefit of the project and the growth of the individuals. I have an eye for innovation in education and can analyze a situation and the people involved to guide organizations to create inventive and practical programs for the community.
One of my strengths is conducting research with real world practical outcomes. Some examples of this type of research can be seen in the books:
Engaging Uninvolved Communities in Urban Forestry: It’s About More Than Trees; Inspirational Gardeners Growing Food for the Soul: Stories from Hawaii; Growing an Educational Garden at Your School: a Study of the Hawaii Experience; and What is the Environment Anyway? A Study of Children’s Perceptions of the Environment. I have partnered on numerous urban forestry research project such as conducting the first Urban Tree Canopy Assessment in the tropics; analyzing issues and strategies for the Congressionally mandated Forest Action Plans; and currently, I am immersed in a project utilizing urban stormwater techniques to reduce water borne pollution from a semi-industrial area adjacent to one of the few remaining wetlands in Hawaii.
My favorite presentation is The Power of Plants to Transform Communities. The Power of Plants to Transform Communities is a great conference topic for community gardeners and urban greeners as well as business and health professionals and community advocates. It is a very visual and inspirational look at gardens and gardeners in a range of geographic settings across the U.S. This presentation is an excellent way to kick off your garden start-up or entice attendees to a garden annual event or membership drive.