City of Hartford - Forester 50 Jennings Rd, Hartford, CT 06120 860-757-0683 or 860-372-2674 DIONH001@HARTFORD.GOV
Heather Dionne is the City Forester for the City of Hartford, Connecticut. Over the past six years, she has been managing an urban forest that includes 434 shoulder road miles and almost 3,000 acres of greenspace and forestland. Educating the public on the importance of trees, climate change and proper arboricultural practices are her focus. She has worked hard to encourage decision makers to see trees as a necessity and not just a luxury, especially regarding budgeting and planning. Seeing first-hand the social injustices in a city relating to tree canopy gives her a vantage from which she can bring stake-holders together to come up with solutions.
Heather studied Urban and Community Forestry at Unity College in Maine, is a licensed arborist in Connecticut and with the International Society of Arboriculture, and recently acquired her certification as a supervising forest products harvester in CT.
The Nature Conservancy in CT - Urban Conservation Program Manager 55 Church St, Floor 3 New Haven, CT 06510-3029
Drew Goldsman is the Urban Conservation Program Manager for The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut. The Urban Conservation Program provides support to cities across Connecticut, currently with a focus on Bridgeport, embracing natural solutions as an integral way of equitably fostering vibrant and healthy communities. Current initiatives range from supporting a resilient coastline to on-the-ground community engagement. The work includes investments in the urban forest and in green stormwater infrastructure. Drew has a strong background in urban environmental and social justice causes. With past positions focusing on transportation equity and affordable housing policy, Drew believes the built and natural environments are deeply tied and must equitably benefit all residents. Drew holds a Master of Urban Planning from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a Bachelor of Arts from Hampshire College.
Katie received her B.A. in Biology from Goucher College and her M.F. in Forestry from the Yale School Forestry & Environmental Studies. Katie has over 10 years of experience working outdoors in roles that include trail maintenance in southern Oregon, reforestation in Baltimore County, urban tree planting in New Haven CT, and--presently--tree work in greater New Haven.
As someone who discovered a love of outdoor work before understanding that women were underrepresented in the industry, Katie is motivated to help and empower women to live lives of radical authenticity, staying true to themselves irregardless of their proximity to the socially constructed norms of Western culture.
Ron Pitz 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.
Department of Forestry and Horticulture The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station - Assistant Scientist PO Box 1106, 123 Huntington Street New Haven, CT 06504-1106 Phone: 203-974-8491 Email: Adriana.ArangoVelez@ct.gov
Adriana Arango-Velez 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.
Katherine (Katie) Blake is the Bird-friendly Communities Manager for Audubon Connecticut. She manages Audubon’s Urban Oases, Schoolyard Habitat and Plants for Birds Programs. She works with numerous and diverse partners in creating bird friendly communities in Connecticut schools, parks and yards. She coordinates partnership meetings and collaborative projects in New Haven as a partner lead for the New Haven Harbor Watershed Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership. Prior to joining Audubon, Katie was the Coordinator for the MassConn Sustainable Forest Partnership. Here she conducted forest landowner outreach and managed forest protection initiatives. Katie has extensive field experience studying Terns of coastal Massachusetts to researching Swallows in Central and South America. Katie has a Master’s in Conservation Biology from Antioch University New England and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Mount Holyoke College.
Connecticut Department of Transportation - Landscape Designer 2800 Berlin Turnpike Newington, CT 06131 Phone: 860-594-2612 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Department of Forestry & Horticulture The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station -Chief Scientist PO Box 1106, 123 Huntington Street New Haven, CT 06504-1106 Phone: 203-974-8495 Cell: 203-671-4848 Email: email@example.com
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 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.
Herbert “Herb” Virgo is the Founder and Executive Director of the Keney Park Sustainability Project (KPSP). He has seventeen years of experience working with the target population of youth. Herb is a member of the Climate Stewardship Council and works closely with the Public Works Department in Keney Park.
Herb has seven years of experience as the Event Coordinator for the Family Day Festival overseeing all aspects of the festival. Herb also has years of experience as a counselor, teacher, and case manager of youth at a wilderness education program for adjudicated youth and the Florida Department of Children and Family Services.
Herb has also managed the installation of 15 miles of trails in Keney Park. Herb’s commitment to not only the population but to KPSP is honorable and one with integrity. He can be found throughout the project all year and is always willing to support whatever it takes to grow the mission. His calming presence has lifted the KPSP project from grassroots to the growing sustainability in the city of Hartford.