Blog Post By Jona Elwell

Kelly Crabtree: From Summer Crew to Team Leader

At our Melvin Hazen planting earlier in April we saw a few familiar faces including Kelly Crabtree who is back in action after a few years away from D.C. As we caught up with Kelly, we asked her why she decided to come back to re-tree D.C.

Casey Trees: You were part of our Summer Crew – how was that?

Kelly Crabtree: Yes, I was part of the Summer Crew in 2010 after graduating high school. It was one of my first jobs and it was great experience. I was able to see new parts of the city, meet a variety of D.C. residents and really began my journey in the environmental field. This experience then steered my college experience, where I ended up majoring in Public Policy with a concentration in Environmental Policy.

One of my favorite experiences from the Summer Crew was one of our ‘professional development days.’ One of these consisted of having tree climbing lessons, where we were harnessed up and climbed trees!

CT: Welcome back to D.C. – what compelled you to return to Casey Trees?

KC: Thanks! So, I have been completing a Master’s program at University of Maryland for Elementary Education and I felt that I was still missing a part in my life. The environmental field has been a part of my life since I did the summer crew, and I did not have something like that in my life presently. Therefore, I decided to reach out to the organization that began that passion in my life- Casey Trees!

CT: What is the best part of planting a tree?

KC: Ah that is hard! I would have to say digging the hole. You are creating a whole new space for a living thing.

CT: Why do you think planting trees in D.C. is so important?

KC: Obviously for the immense amounts of benefits for the environment, but I think the most important part for me in terms of planting trees in D.C. is taking ownership of the environmental landscape. By planting trees in D.C. with Casey Trees I am making a commitment to the urban environment and its continual improvement.

CT:  Last but not least, do you have a favorite tree?

KC: I do not have a particular favorite tree, rather I enjoy the company of all trees!

As you can tell, Kelly is a pretty great human and we’re thankful she’s back with us. Do you want to be like Kelly? You can be! Join us at our next open event – an inventory of the Washington Monument on Arbor Day!

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