Current Position: Writer, Community Organizer, and Arborist
What is/was your relationship to ReLeaf?
I was on staff at TreePeople where I created and ran the Tree Care Department from 1997-2007. In this position I administered ReLeaf grants for several tree care/education projects in Los Angeles County neighborhoods and schools. I was appointed the TreePeople liaison to California ReLeaf around 2000 and served on the advisory committee from 2003-2005.
What did/does California ReLeaf mean to you?
I still treasure the professional and personal relationships I cultivated during the retreats and while on the advisory committee. I think there was an incredible value to the Network retreats and the ability of California ReLeaf to be able to subsidize groups so that they could attend. There was great benefit in meeting with counterparts from large, medium, and small organizations so that we could share stories and compare strategies in an environment that provided time and space in which to do serious work in a relaxed manner. This helped us to grow personally and professionally.
Best memory or event of California ReLeaf?
I remember what an honor it was to lead a group activity at one of the retreats on environmental healing where we were encouraged to speak and affirm each other about personal and professional experiences. We shared ideas on how to refuel ourselves while doing high burnout work– work that we care about deeply. It was exciting to be talking to people about taking care of themselves, connecting to each other, and understanding how to sustain, support and heal our beautiful natural environment. It was a powerful personal and spiritual experience for me.
Why is it important that California ReLeaf continue its Mission?
I think that we all can experience the ‘silo effect’ when we work in our own community. It is empowering to be in direct contact with an umbrella organization like California ReLeaf that can expand our consciousness about California politics and the larger picture about what is happening and how we play in to that and how as a group (and as many groups!) we can make a difference.