Conversation with Greg McPherson

Current Position: Research Forester, Urban Ecosystems and Social Dynamics Program, PSW Research Station, USDA Forest Service

What is/was your relationship to ReLeaf?

1993 – when I started at Western Center for Urban Forest Research and Education. In 2000 this became the Center for Urban Forest Research. Then in 2010 it was given its current title. My relationship with the ReLeaf network is that they are our bridge to the people that work planting, stewarding, and educating about trees. We are able to pass information on urban forestry to the network. Also, we are a science resource for ReLeaf.

What did/does California ReLeaf mean to you?

California ReLeaf is a network of organizations that are actively involved in tree planting, tree stewardship, and education; and they are our direct link to grassroots Urban Forestry in California. It is important to researchers to reach those people who need the information most and it is through ReLeaf that we are able to make this connection. Also, we are able help strengthen the Voice of the network by providing technical expertise to their urban forest message. We offer a science complement to the work of the ReLeaf network.

Best memory or event of California ReLeaf?

Most recently I think that working in partnership with California ReLeaf in informing the draft 2013 Climate Change Scoping Plan is high on my list. Through all our collaborative input on this document, we are showing the California Air Resources Board how urban forestry is an important component to greenhouse gas reduction. For me, this is a very good memory, a great event, and an impressive document. It shows science working hand in hand with pubic policy. I also have fond memories of the joint CUFC conference in Pasadena at the Huntington Gardens

Why is it important that California ReLeaf continue its Mission?

I would say that communication is vital to making sure everyone has the support they need, when they need it. It is important to avoid duplication of efforts and to make sure that everyone has access to resources that are already developed. The communication link that California ReLeaf provides is important so that groups can do their work efficiently and effectively. Without the connection through ReLeaf, groups might be just spinning their wheels. To me ReLeaf’s Mission of providing the network support and enhancing the urban forest is vital to the urban forest movement in California.