Message from President Andy Hillman:
A Watershed Year
This has been a watershed year for the Council. 2014 has been a year of growth and expansion in the ways we fulfill our mission.
Taking Root has become a monthly electronic newsletter and weekly blog, rather than three printed newsletters per year. The feedback I have received has been all positive. Members have found this exciting new format very useful and informative. If that has been the case with you, please post, tweet, and forward Taking Root to help get our message out.
In 2014 we produced our first annual report (for 2013) and began a new strategic plan. The New York State Urban Forestry Council has assisted the NY ReLeaf committees with many educational workshops across the state. Region 1 hosted a fantastic annual conference at Hofstra University. We are already hard at work on the 2015 NY ReLeaf conference which will be in Syracuse at the College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
Once again, we participated in Forestry Awareness Day in the state capital. We have also reaffirmed our partnership in the Council of Forest Resource Organizations (CFRO).
We now administer a small Arbor Day grant program for the NYSDEC. This grant program helps small communities without any of the Tree City USA criteria to start moving toward that designation. This is a huge development that is in alignment with our Vision Statement that says in part, “…every community in New York State will recognize the value of trees…”.
I encourage you all to re-commit to our efforts. Please go to our website now and renew your membership in the NYSUFC. Thank you, and Happy Holidays!
—Andy Hillman, Andrew.Hillman@Davey.com