September brings the change from summer to fall, and as the seasons change, we have some big changes for the Urban Forestry Team. I’ve accepted a promotion, and will be stepping away from the Urban & Community Forestry (UCF) program… but not stepping very far. I will be the Assistant Division Manager for Fire Prevention, Camps, and Community Assistance. UCF is one of the programs in that group, so I will still be very much involved. I’ve been with the UCF program for 14 years, and the program manager for 12 of those. I’m excited about my new opportunity, but will miss working with all the amazing communities and partners on a day-to-day basis.
My time here has been fulfilling, exciting, and challenging. When I joined the program in 1999, we had 30 Tree City USA communities and how we are at 83 (plus new programs of Tree Line USA and Tree Campus USA have been developed). We’ve funded over $2 million in Community Forestry Assistance, Urban Initiative, Tree Inventory, and Tree Planting grants, in partnership with the USDA Forest Service. These projects have given communities the chance to develop and grow programs that will ensure Washington has strong, vibrant urban forests. We’ve celebrated the passage of the Evergreen Communities Act, and been challenged with the budgetary limitations of its implementation.
It’s been a tremendous time to be involved in urban forestry in Washington, and I see nothing but continued growth in the future. Linden Lampman will be the acting Urban Forestry Program Manager until we can make plans for the future of the program. We are both excited about new opportunities but know it may have an impact in our ability to provide technical assistance to our community partners for the next few months.
Thank you all for your support over the past 14 years. We wouldn’t have a program if it wasn’t for the support of all our community, non-profit, educational and I look forward to continuing to support the UCF program’s growth and success.