17th Ann. NY State ReLeaf Conference

Published on July 15, 2009, 7:33 pm
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For three days, urban environmentalists from across New York State will gather at the Pratt Institute campus in Brooklyn for the 17th Annual New York ReLeaf Conference. On July 16-18, more than 150 experts, advocates, educators, and community leaders involved in the urban forestry movement will participate in a series of activities including workshops, tours, ceremonies, and a picnic.

New York ReLeaf is a state program promoting management and care of our states community trees.  It is a cooperative effort by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the NYS Urban and Community Forestry Council, with funding from the USDA Forest Service.

The following are events that may be of interest to the media, with map attached that contains more detail on where events are to be held:

Thursday, July 15,  4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Memorial Tree Planting – near ISC Building, Pratt campus
A linden tree will be planted on the grounds of Pratt Institute to celebrate the life and volunteerism of urban tree advocate, Susan Kalin, who passed away suddenly last fall. Susan spearheaded the conference planning at Pratt and was a dedicated champion and steward of New York City’s street trees for many years.

Friday, July 16, 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

ReLeaf conference welcoming – Higgins Hall, Pratt campus.

Speakers include:
Adrian Benepe, Commissioner, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation
Margarita Lopez, Commissioner, NYC Housing Authority
Suzanne Mattei, Regional Director, NYSDEC Region 2
Patricia Tobin, Council President, NYS Urban & Community Forestry

Friday, July 16, 1:45 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Community Forestry Tours – departing from the corner of Hall Street and Dekalb Avenue, Pratt campus (rain or shine):
Discover Pratts Neighborhood Tour includes a visit to the Hollenback Community Garden and to Fort Greene & Clinton Hill, where the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation is sponsoring Take Back the Pavement tree bed expansion project.

GreenwoodCemetery Tour features breathtaking views of the varied topography and hilltops while displaying the cemeterys unique efforts to sustain its tree canopy.

ProspectPark & Brooklyn Botanic Garden Tour includes a visit to
Prospect Park, which has been restored through a public/private partnership between the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation and the Prospect Park Alliance, and the world-renowned Brooklyn Botanic Garden, with its 52 acres of expertly tended trees and a variety of special gardens.


Saturday, July 17, 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Tours of Environmental Justice areas – departing from the corner of Hall Street and Dekalb Avenue, Pratt campus
Pennsylvania and Fountain Avenue Landfills Tour includes hiking up and down the previously abandoned landfills that now the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation is working to restore with some innovative reforestation techniques.

Newtown Creek Community & Restoration Project Tour includes visiting sites that signify the trends of access, environmental remediation and public-private partnerships that are on the rise in this watershed.

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