Taking Root is the blog and online newsletter of the NYSUFC. 
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     TAKING ROOT  February 2015

On the Blog  
NYC Urban Forester Sumana Serchan: Get to Know Her!  

Sumana grew up in Kathmandu City, Nepal among the purple blossoms of Jacaranda trees. She came to the States thinking she would study to be a dental hygienist, but key teachers and mentors helped her find her calling elsewhere. Sumana has her master’s degree in Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Read the blog post about Sumana Serchan here.  

Message from President Andy Hillman  

We've Been Busy!

January was a very busy month for your executive committee, board of directors, executive secretary, and conference planning committee. The Board has approved the selection of Liana Gooding as our new executive secretary. You will get to meet her in an upcoming blog post; please watch for it and welcome Liana! We have also contracted with Fran Lawlor to be our facilitator for the 2015 ReLeaf Conference July 16-18 at SUNY ESF in Syracuse. Plan to be there; I can tell you based on what has already been accomplished that it’s going to be a good one. As I write this on Groundhog Day, we were supposed to be attending Forestry Awareness Day (FAD) in Albany; it was rescheduled due to the snowstorm. We remain committed to our membership in the Council of Forest Resource Organizations (CFRO), the umbrella organization behind FAD, and our participation in FAD, which educates state legislators about urban forestry and other forestry needs and issues. We have also finalized a new five-year strategic plan and passed a budget for 2015. Whew!
 —Andy Hillman,





Join Us for the DEC Awards Ceremony!

The NYS DEC Urban Forestry section has developed strong partnerships with communities, college campuses, and utilities with regard to the National Arbor Day Foundation recognition programs.
This year, DEC will be celebrating our 9th Annual Recognition Ceremony on Thursday, March 26th at the Albany Hilton Hotel. We will be recognizing Tree Cities, Tree Campuses, and Tree Line Utilities as well as recognizing the New York State Arbor Day Poster Contest winner and announcing the Urban Forestry Program Awards. Communities are invited to bring up to two people to the event and must RSVP at 
518-402-9425 or email


Save the Date!

The New York ReLeaf Conference will be held at SUNY ESF in Syracuse

July 16-18, 2015 

Seeking Examples of Energy-Saving Urban Forest Projects 
Council member Simon Gruber is an environmental planner based in Orange County, NY who is looking for suggestions about or examples of programs in NY State or nearby that are focused on tree planting, management, maintenance or other steps to save energy. Gruber’s been studying published research and other materials to learn more about how trees can reduce energy use in homes and other buildings and where these ideas are being applied. He’s particularly interested in demonstration projects or other initiatives to maximize the benefits of trees for cooling buildings, parking areas, streets, and neighborhoods in hot weather. He’s also interested in finding scientists, policy-makers, or others who are interested in research, training, and policy opportunities around this subject. Simon can be reached at

Coming Up March 6! NYC Tree Inventory Workshop  
Topics will incude how tree inventories can help calculate the benefits of trees, the breakdown of how New York City's Department of Parks and Recreation will be conducting their Tree Census and a retrospective on New York Restoration Project's tree giveaway program. See the NYS DEC UCF website or contact Sally Kellogg for more information: 518.402.9425. 

Also on the Blog ... 

National Urban Forest Priorities: Your Thoughts, Please! 
All About Forestry Awareness Day 
Buffalo's New Cherry Blossom Festival 

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The Taking Root Newsletter and Blog are made possible by a grant from the USDA Forest Service through the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.

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