Our Mission

The Connecticut Urban Forest Council, Inc. is a statewide organization composed of representatives from Connecticut environmental organizations, state agencies, universities, research institutions, corporations, professional communities and citizen tree groups. Its purpose is to provide advice, assistance, education, information and support to urban and community forestry professionals, associated professionals, municipal, state and corporate leaders, and volunteers.

The Council Seeks To:

  • Increase the number and quality of urban and community forestry programs in Connecticut towns and cities.
  • Inform community decisions makers, legislators, and the public about the essential benefits derived from urban and community forestry.
  • Provide continuing education and make educational resources available to arborists, tree wardens, foresters, community tree volunteers, public work employees and
  • others practicing urban and community forestry in Connecticut.
  • Develop policies designed to promote progressive and appropriate urban and community forestry programs and practices throughout the state.

To this end, the Council will serve to coordinate and direct urban and community forestry efforts in Connecticut.

Council Members

Lori Paradis Brant

Lori Paradis Brant

Lori Paradis Brant, CT Forest and Park Association

Connecticut Forest & Park Association
16 Meriden Road (Route 66), Rockfall, CT 06481
860-346-2372 x 14
www.walkct.org   www.plt.org
Conserving Connecticut.  Connecting people to the land.

Lori teaches lifelong learners how to think about the environment as the state co-coordinator of Project Learning Tree – an interdisciplinary environmental education curriculum for teachers, youth leaders and other educators. Throughout the last 20 years, Lori has helped teachers incorporate the environment into their curriculum to meet state education standards; trained nature center staff in environmental education; & created and led programs for lifelong learners of all ages.  Her work has led her to farm to forest to sea as she has enjoyed employment with the CT D.E.P., Stepping Stones Museum for Children, Bauer Farm Park, Connecticut Audubon Society, and Long Island Sound Taskforce.

Lori currently serves on the Two Rivers Magnet High School Advisory Board and the committees for CT Green Leaf Schools and CT Environmental Literacy Plan. In the past, she has led the Connecticut Outdoor & Environmental Education Association, chaired the Education & Outreach committee for the CT Forestlands Council and served on the Executive Board of the CT Urban Forestry Council.

Stalis W. Aris

Stalis W. Aris

Aris W. Stalis, ASLA, LEED AP
Vice Chair

Aris Land Studio
Sustainability + Land Architecture
1450 Barnum Avenue, Suite 201
Bridgeport, CT  06610

visit us at www.ArisLS.com

Aris W. Stalis is landscape architect with a practice in Bridgeport, CT representing the CT Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.  As integral members of the urban environment, landscape architects are partners with communities to design, plan, and maintain trees contributing to the strength of the urban fabric.  LA’s examine not only the biology of the tree, but the infrastructure to support their growth, and the cultural, social, health and economic implications of tree plantings.

Steve Hladun

Steve Hladun

Steve Hladun, City of Bridgeport

Special Projects Coordinator, City of Bridgeport Parks and Recreation


Scott Williams

Scott C. Williams, PhD, Associate Scientist CT Agricultural Experiment Station

Department of Forestry and Horticulture
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
PO Box 1106, 123 Huntington Street
New Haven, CT 06504-1106
Phone: 203-974-8609
Email: scott.williams@ct.gov

Scott’s bio page

Scott is an Associate Scientist in the Department of Forestry and Horticulture at The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. His research focuses on forest ecology in terms of impacts of overabundant deer, invasive plants, white-footed mice, and associated blacklegged ticks on the health of Connecticut’s public and ecosystems alike. Scott also serves as Executive Treasurer of the CT Urban Forest Council and is also a Certified Wildlife Biologist with the Wildlife Society.

Ron Pitz

Ron Pitz

Ron Pitz, Executive Director, Knox Inc.

Knox Inc.
75 Laurel Street
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: 860-951-769
Web: www.knoxhartford.org
Email: ronp@knoxhartford.org

Ron is the Executive Director of Knox, Inc, a community strengthening, green non profit organization in Hartford. In that role he coordinates a staff of 30 operating 22 community gardens, a 15 member AmeriCorps Green Workforce Development program and Trees for Hartford Neighborhoods, a community strengthening program that, with community involvement plants 1,000+ trees in Hartford every year.
Bruce Lindsay

Bruce Lindsay

Bruce Lindsay, Town of Westport

Tree Warden
Town of Westport
phone: 203-627-3150
email: bruceflindsay@msn.com

Adriana Arango

Adriana Arango

Adriana Arango-Velez, Assistant Scientist, CT Agricultural Experiment Station

Department of Forestry and Horticulture
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
PO Box 1106. 123 Huntington Street
New Haven, CT 06504-1106
Phone: 203-974-8491
email: Adriana.ArangoVelez@ct.gov

Adriana received her Ph.D. and Postdoc at the University of Alberta in Edmonton (Canada).  She now is the lead in the Plant Physiology lab within the Department of Forestry and Horticulture at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. Her research focuses on the adaptive traits of trees that relate to a changing climate.  Specifically she studies physiological thresholds of tree responses to water stress, salt toxicity, and insect attack in urban and forest settings.

Leslie Kane

Leslie Kane

Leslie Kane, Center Director, Audubon Center at Bent of the River

Audubon Center at Bent of the River
185 East Flat Hill Road
Southbury, CT 065488
Phone: 203-264-5098
email: lkane@audubon.org

Rachel Holmes, Conservation Education Specialist, The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy
Phone: 973-420-8954
email: rvholmes1031@gmail.com

Sean Redding, Manager, Eversource

Phone: 860-665-6103
email: sean.redding@eversource.com

Robert Ricard

Robert Ricard

Robert M. Ricard, Ph.D., CF

Senior Extension Educator – Human Dimensions of Natural Resources
Program Team Leader – Land Use and Water

UConn Extension
1800 Asylum Ave.
West Hartford, CT 06117-2600
E-mail: robert.ricard@uconn.edu

Bob Ricard is Senior Extension Educator with the Department of Extension and teaches in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment. He came to the University of Connecticut in 1991 and serves as the Land Use and Water Program Team Leader.

Bob is responsible for helping Connecticut cities and towns with better managing public trees and forests focusing mostly on municipal tree wardens and community forestry volunteers. He also assists educators and researchers conduct social science research design and methods. He conducts the Tree Warden School and assists the Tree Wardens’ Association of Connecticut, Inc., which he formed in 1992. He is co-author, with Glenn Dreyer, of Greening Connecticut Cities and Towns: Managing Public Trees and Community Forests (2005, 260 pp). Bob holds a Ph.D. in public policy with other degrees in forest resources. He is a Fellow of the Society of American Foresters.

CV: Robert Ricard’s CV (PDF)

Bruce Villwock, Landscape Designer, CT Department of Transportation

Connecticut Department of Transportation
2800 Berlin Turnpike
Newington, CT 06131
Phone: 860-594-2612
email: r.bruce.villwock@ct.gov

Colleen Murphy-Dunning

Colleen Murphy-Dunning

Colleen Murphy-Dunning, Director, Urban Resources Initiative

Urban Resources Initiative
205 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Phone: 203-432-6570
email: colleen.murphy-dunning@yale.edu

Web: environment.yale.edu/uri/

Colleen received her B.S. in Public and Environmental Affairs from Indiana University, and a M.S. in Forestry from Humboldt State University. She directs both the Hixon Center for Urban Ecology, as well as the Urban Resources Initiative (URI).  She joined the Yale staff 20 years ago to launch URI’s Community Greenspace program.  Since then, she has partnered with Yale F&ES faculty to instruct courses in environmental justice, monitoring and evaluation methods, and urban ecology.  Prior to coming to Yale University Colleen taught agroforestry at the Kenya Forestry College as a Peace Corps volunteer, and led the New Guinea campaign for Rainforest Action Network .

Jeffrey S. Ward

Jeffrey S. Ward

Jeffrey S. Ward, Chief Scientist

Department of Forestry & Horticulture
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
PO Box 1106, 123 Huntington Street
New Haven, CT  06504-1106
Phone: 203.974.8495
Cell: 203.671.4848
Email: jeffrey.ward@ct.gov


Jeffrey S. Ward is Chief Scientist-Department of Forestry and Horticulture at The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. His research has focused on the dynamics of long-term herbaceous and tree populations, invasive species control, and forest management.


Chris Donnelly

Chris Donnelly, Urban Forestry Coordinator

Division of Forestry, CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

phone:  860-424-3178
email:  chris.donnelly@ct.gov
website:  www.ct.gov/deep/urbanforestry

Chris Donnelly is the Urban Forestry Coordinator in the Division of Forestry, CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.  In that role, he has the good fortune to work with a broad cross-section of people involved with trees and urban forestry in the state of Connecticut.  The urban forestry program at DEEP runs a small grant program, with the funding courtesy of the US Forest Service.  DEEP Forestry also recommends communities as Tree City USA’s and has an advisory role on a range of urban forestry related issues.

Joe R

Joe Ryzewski

Joe Ryzewski, Board Member, Yale – Urban Resources Initiative

New Haven, CT


Joe has been a past Chair of the Council,  led the development the Council’s Strategic Plans and supported other events. Currently he fills a volunteer position on the Council and is also on the Board of Directors for Yale – Urban Resource Initiative (URI).

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