PlantAmnesty and UW Botanic Gardens partner to deliver the Urban Forest Symposium each spring. Each year’s symposium focuses on a timely topic and brings together a diverse audience including arborists, land managers, designers, program managers, municipal planners, volunteers, and advocates.

2021 Urban Forest Symposium (online)
Urban Forest Reboot: Challenge & Change

Washington Park Arboretum. Photo by Ethan Welty.

Tuesday, May 18 & Wednesday, May 19
9:00am-12:00pm (PDT) each day

$30 general admission

Scholarships available for students, service corps members, or anyone with need.

This full-day program will be presented online as a Zoom webinar.

Register

Recent events have shined a light on the critical need for all people to have equitable access to the benefits that our urban forests provide. This year’s virtual Urban Forest Symposium will ground our conversation in the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on frontline communities and explore a new vision for urban forestry and the role it can play in a more just society moving forward.

Speakers including Indigenous Tribal people, youth, community leaders, government experts and researchers will share big ideas for recognition, recovery and reinvestment. Recognizing the many urban nature benefits, presenters will examine impacts and opportunities, including workforce and leadership development programs aimed at building pathways for youth to pursue urban forestry careers. This year’s virtual symposium aims to find new directions for culturally appropriate community engagement in urban forestry planning and programming. Join us to listen, learn, and discover opportunities to engage with communities and programs for a better future for our urban forest and all those connected to it.

Agenda

More information to come as updates are available.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021
This day will focus on building a diverse, qualified and representative urban forestry workforce. Speakers will highlight national efforts and local programs and perspectives on youth leadership and career development.

9:00 – 9:25 a.m. Welcome and introductory remarks

  • Micah L. McCarty, Makah, Artist, former Makah Tribal Chairman, new Hereditary Custodian
  • Jessica Farmer, University of Washington Botanic Gardens
  • Maggie Rogers, Plant Amnesty
9:25 – 10:15 a.m. American Forests Career Pathways Initiative: Planting Tree Equity and Career Pathways for Underserved Communities
Full details TBA
10:15 – 10:30 a.m. Break
10:30 – 11:55 a.m. Panel Presentations on Youth Leadership & Career Pathways in Urban Forestry
Full details TBA

  • Duwamish Valley Youth Corps: Moss Study
  • Congolese Integration Network
  • King County Department of Natural Resources & Parks: Youth Corps
  • Stephanie Martin – Habitat Division Manager, Makah Tribe
11:55 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Closing
  • An informal Zoom lunch hour will follow from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. for anyone interested in continuing the discussion!

Wednesday, May 19, 2021
This day will focus on approaches for broad and inclusive community engagement in urban forestry planning, priorities and programming.

9:00 – 9:15 a.m. Welcome and introductory remarks

  • Jeffrey P. Thomas, Muckleshoot, Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Director, Timber, Fish & Wildlife Program – Fisheries Department
  • Jessica Farmer, University of Washington Botanic Gardens
  • Maggie Rogers, Plant Amnesty
9:15 – 10:15 a.m.

Intentional Community Outreach: Insights from California

What does it take to shift from “business as usual” urban forest community outreach to connect with new partners in underserved or under-represented neighborhoods? Environmental justice and canopy equity are about much more than tree planting: we need to be truly inclusive about where, how, and who is involved with the urban forest at every level — from neighbors, volunteers, and advocates to nonprofits, community groups, and grantees. Which new organizations do you need to partner with now? How can state and local policies influence and drive equity in your community? Come hear about key lessons learned by California ReLeaf over the last 10 years.

California ReLeaf is the statewide umbrella organization for a Network of nearly 100 urban forest nonprofits – we offer education, advocacy, and urban forest grants to grow greener, healthier, and stronger communities.

Cindy Blain, Executive Director, California ReLeaf
Mariela Ruacho, Program Manager, Policy & Educational Strategy

10:15 – 10:30 a.m. Break
10:30 – 11:55 a.m. Panel Presentations on Community Engagement
Full details TBA

  • Jeffrey P. Thomas, Muckleshoot, Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Director, Timber, Fish & Wildlife Program – Fisheries Department
  • Seeding Connection – Trees, People, and Planning
    In 2018 the City of Seattle’s Urban Forestry Core Team committed to working closely with Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities to determine the goals for its updated Citywide plan. This was a radical departure from past processes which, while open for public comment, had only generated sparse participation from racially diverse and other marginalized communities. Community members helped tailor materials, develop engagement strategies and gave staff important insights for identifying short and long-term goals for urban forestry. We invite you to join us to explore what the team learned and why this was only a first but critical step in collective stewardship of our invaluable urban forest.
    Vicky Raya, Racial Equity Advisor, Seattle Public Utilities
  • Growing Old Project
11:55 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  Closing
  • An informal Zoom lunch hour will follow from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. for anyone interested in continuing the discussion!

 

Contact:  urbhort@uw.edu / 206-685-8033

Sponsors:

 

Sponsorship Opportunities

2022 Urban Forest Symposium:
Urban Forestry Relationships, Regeneration, & Reflections: A Coastal Peoples Focus

May 2022

UW Botanic Gardens
Center for Urban Horticulture – NHS Hall
3501 NE 41st St.
Seattle, WA 98105

Interlude Trees by Katherine Arquette

Interlude by Katherine Arquette (Muckleshoot, Suquamish, Duwamish)

Sponsorship opportunities available

 

COVID-19 UPDATE: 

This symposium, originally scheduled for May, 2020, has been postponed to 2022. The nature of this symposium, which relies heavily on personal and professional connections, networking, and outreach could not effectively be moved to a virtual format.

This Urban Forest Symposium will center Coastal environmental leaders and Elders, Teachers and cultural individuals. Presenters from a range of disciplines will highlight different perspectives to form new relationships, build understanding, and increase knowledge of urban environments. Looking at the urban forest through a lens of relationships, relocation, regeneration and reflections, presenters will highlight different perspectives and share stories of successes that can inform attendees’ work and advocacy for urban tree stewardship. Attendees will gain an understanding of how to interweave more encompassing solutions for trees.

PlantAmnesty and UW Botanic Gardens partner to deliver the Urban Forest Symposium each spring. Each year’s symposium focuses on a timely topic and brings together a diverse audience including arborists, land managers, designers, program managers, municipal planners, volunteers, and advocates.

Who should attend: Indigenous, university, student, civic, governmental, and nonprofit urban community organization individuals, including arborists, land managers, designers, program managers, planners, volunteers, and advocates.

 

Contact:  urbhort@uw.edu / 206-685-8033

Sponsors:

 

 

 

 

 

Past Symposia

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