National “Vibrant Cities and Urban Forests” Task Force to include ACT Members, Urban Greening Leaders

College Park, MD (March 21, 2011)- Alliance for Community Trees (ACT) members, partners, and urban greening leaders were among the 25 members of the Vibrant Cities and Urban Forests: A National Call to Action task force announced last week by the US Forest Service and New York Restoration Project.

Representatives from ACT member organizations Sacramento Tree Foundation, Trees Forever, Parks & People Foundation, TreePeople, City of Washington, DC, and City of Portland, OR, will join other experts to draft recommendations to the U.S. Forest Service for support of urban forestry. The Task Force is being convened by ACT member group New York Restoration Project (NYRP) and the US Forest Service. See the complete list of task force members below.
Vibrant Cities and Urban Forests is an initiative to promote the advancement of urban forestry and natural resources stewardship nationwide. The diverse group of experts and innovators will come together in Washington DC this April to discuss and recommend how federal policy, programs, partnerships and investment can advance and support urban tree planting and stewardship in the next 15 years.
Now is the opportunity to lend your voice to this Task Force process. Help identify the best and most ambitious goals for advancing urban forestry and stewardship in our nation’s cities and urban centers. Your thoughts and ideas will help form the foundation for the task force’s work and deliberations. Click here to Lend Your Voice to this call to action.
The task force members- along with NYRP, Alliance for Community Trees, the Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition, and the Arbor Day Foundation- will work with the US Forest Service and other federal agencies, Members of Congress, and the White House to advance and realize the task force’s recommendations.
“The Vibrant Cities and Urban Forests task force underscores the US Forest Service’s commitment ot growing and sustaining our nation’s urban forests,” said US Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “Because of the environmental, health and economic benefits trees bring to our cities, the Forest Service is eager to expand our partnership with and support of urban forestry and stewardship programs.”
In addition to those serving on the task force, many other ACT member groups were instrumental in recruiting local leaders to apply. Out of more than 150 individual nominations, the following 25 individuals were selected to serve on the task force.
* Jackie Carrera, President and CEO of Parks and People Foundation (Baltimore, MD)
* Martin Chávez, Executive Director of ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability USA (Washington, DC)
* Michael DiBerardinis, Deputy Mayor Environmental and Community Resources for Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (Philadelphia, PA)
* Aaron Durnbaugh, Deputy Commissioner for Chicago Department of Environment and Vice Chair of Chicago Wilderness (Chicago, IL)
* Mark Garvin, President of Tree Care Industry Association (Londonderry, NH)
* John Giedraitis, Texas Urban Forestry Coordinator for Texas Forest Service (College Station, TX)
* Mike Houck, Executive Director of Urban Greenspaces Institute (Portland, OR)
* Liam Kavanagh, First Deputy Commissioner for the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation (New York, NY)
* Larry Kotchman, State Forester for the North Dakota Forest Service (Bottineau, ND)
* Dan Lambe, Vice President of Programs for the Arbor Day Foundation (Lincoln, NE)
* Monica Lear, Deputy Associate Director of the Urban Forestry Administration in the DC Department of Transportation and the State Forester of the District of Columbia (Washington, DC)
* Andy Lipkis, President of TreePeople, Inc. (Beverly Hills, CA)
* Dean Marriott, Director of Environmental Services for the City of Portland, OR (Portland, OR)
* Gavin McMillan, Principal-in-Charge for Hargreaves Associates (Cambridge, MA)
* Greg Nickels, Board Member of Cascade Land Conservancy (Seattle, WA)
* John Norquist, President and CEO of Congress for New Urbanism (Chicago, IL)
* Mary Northridge, Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Public Health and Assistant Professor of Epidemiology & Health Promotion at New York University College of Dentistry (New York, NY)
* Stephanie Pincetl, Adjunct Professor at UCLA Institute of the Environment (Los Angeles, CA)
* Pat Pineda, Group Vice President of Toyota North America, Inc., National Philanthropy and the Toyota USA Foundation (New York, NY)
* Shannon Ramsay, Founding President and CEO of Trees Forever (Marion, IA)
* Scott Robson, Manager of Parks and Recreation for the City and County of Denver (Denver, CO)
* Stephen Shurtz, Urban Forestry and Landscape Manager for the City of Baton Rouge, LA, Department of Public Works (Rouge, LA)
* Philip Silva, Co-Director of treeKIT, a project of the Open Space Institute (Brooklyn, NY)
* James Skiera, Executive Director of International Society of Arboriculture (Champaign, IL)
* Ray Tretheway, Executive Director of Sacramento Tree Foundation (Sacramento, CA)
Related Resources:
US Forest Service and NYRP to convene Vibrant Cities and Urban Forests: A National Call To Action task force in Washington, DC April 5-7, 2011
Vibrant Cities and Urban Forests: A National Call To Action
Vibrant Cities Announcement
New York Restoration Project
Sacramento Tree Foundation
Trees Forever
Parks & People Foundation
Washington, DC, Urban Forestry Administration
Portland, OR, Bureau of Environmental Services