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Third annual tree steward training course planned

Feb 15, 2018 | In the News

A program to train Buffalo area residents to care for juvenile trees is planned by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County (CCE Erie). The CommuniTREE Steward Project (CTS) will offer a five-part classroom and in-field training program taught by experts in the field of arboriculture.

“CCE of Erie County is pleased to be working in coordination with the Buffalo Green Fund and other project partners including the City of Buffalo, Re-Tree Buffalo and area arborists to continue the effort first launched in Buffalo two years ago,” said CCE Erie Executive Director Diane Held. “Our goal is to train up to 25 volunteers this spring, and engage volunteers trained from the start of the program in community juvenile tree care projects as well as building volunteer efforts into the future.”

“This course started in 2016 in Western New York and is the logical next step to nurture the trees that have been planted since the devastating October 12, 2006 surprise snowstorm,” stated Paul Maurer of Re-Tree Buffalo “The project partners are collaborating to create a well-trained volunteer corps of tree caretakers. Over the course of our first two years we have trained 25 tree stewards.”

In the over 10 years since the 2006 October surprise snowstorm that destroyed thousands of street and park trees, partners including Re-Tree and its volunteers, Buffalo Green Fund, the City of Buffalo and the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy have worked to re-establish our area’s tree canopy.

“The CommuniTree Steward project had been a goal of the Buffalo Green Fund and Re-Tree for some time,” stated Cindy Kincaide, chairman of The Buffalo Green Fund. “We are pleased to have this growing group of well-trained tree stewards who are able to assist in caring for the thousands of juvenile trees that volunteers have planted since the spring of 2007.”

This year’s instructors include Jim Kisker of Schichtels Nursery, Brian Sayers of The Tree Doctor Consulting, Lori Brockelbank with Davey Tree and Tom Draves, partner in Draves Tree Service of Darien Center. Buffalo Olmsted Parks will again host the classes at Parkside Lodge in Delaware Park. In return for the training, the stewards are asked to volunteer at least 10 hours annually caring for juvenile trees. The support of the Buffalo Green Fund allows CCE and project partners to plan organized volunteer service opportunities through the remainder of 2018 for trained CTS volunteers. The trained stewards are also encouraged to assist their own communities and block clubs in caring for young trees.

The 2018 CTS classes will be offered Wednesday evenings from 5:45 to 8 pm, March 21 to April 18. Registration is now open. Visit https://reg.cce.cornell.edu/2018WNYCTSClasses_214 to register. Please also submit the additional information requested in the registration process. If you have questions about the CTS program or training opportunity, contact Sharon Bachman at 652-5400, x150 or si**@co*****.edu.

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