During the last week of May, Acting Executive Director Amelia Oliver traveled to the San Francisco Bay Area to begin planning an exciting event and to meet with current ReLeaf Network members. Here, she shares some of the details of her trip.
I enjoy a lovely guided tour of this downtown jewel from members of the Mountain View Trees board. Although I grew up in this area, I had never seen this park. It is filled with a diverse collection of species surrounding several majestic valley oaks. I plan to return in the fall when these cherry trees are in bloom.
Our City Forest Executive Director, Rhonda Berry, and I spent Tuesday afternoon planning the fall California ReLeaf 25th Anniversary Reunion. When I started working in urban forestry in 1995, I used to feel almost speechless and in awe of the works of Rhonda and the accomplishments of Our City Forest. I am tickled to work with her in planning this tremendous celebration (October 11) and appreciate her generosity in hosting our ReLeaf friends. A highlight of the afternoon was watching Rhonda dance with her parrot.
Bright and early I head over to Canopy’s headquarters in Palo Alto. I am able to meet with Canopy ED Catherine Martineau about ReLeaf business – as Catherine is ReLeaf’s board Treasurer. When Catherine has to slip out for another meeting, I am able to learn about Canopy from Program Director Natalia, who has a contagious enthusiasm for arboriculture (my kind of gal). It is interesting to learn that Natalia’s arboricultural experiences started when she worked through Americorps at Our City Forest. Please wish Natalia well as she studies for the arborist certification exam this summer.
How could I never have visited this charming downtown?! It took a delicious lunch invitation from one of my favorite people (and incoming ReLeaf board president) Jim Clark to show me the truth. But what Jim didn’t know is that I really showed up for the tour of the HortScience office and a chance to visit with Nelda Matheny – looking vibrant in her green office. I am hoping some of the HortScience staff brain power rubbed off on me.
A recipient of a recent ReLeaf Arbor Week mini-grant, the Markum Arboretum had already piqued my curiosity. I loved their blind enthusiasm and vision as this all volunteer group worked through their first tree planting grant project. Wow – what a remarkable place! I am lead through sections of this 17-acre City Park by the board president Arti Kirch. We have been communicating by phone and email for the past few months and it is great to finally meet. I plan to bring my family back to this Arboretum and will stump my forester husband with all the unique specimens that grow happily in this Concord sanctuary.