Earlier this month the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) held its annual conference at the Gaylord just outside of town. For tree folks, this conference is a pretty big thing, and Casey Trees and our partners – including DDOT’s Urban Forestry Division (UFD), were asked to be a part of it – quite an honor for us both.
Founded in 1927, the ISA mission is to ensure that their 27,000 global members work safely and to the highest available standards. While the Society is geared more toward commercial tree care and the technical aspects of arboriculture, this year’s conference encompassed many less-traditional but no less important topic areas, such as trees and human health, volunteer engagement, urban forest management and related topics that groups like Casey Trees focus on.
The opening ceremony featured Dr. John Gathright, an arborist from Japan who launched a program, Treehab, that allows the disabled to climb trees. The experience has transformed many of the participants’ lives – the crowd was transfixed – there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
I know I’m biased (!), but most impressive were the presentations and tours given by Casey Trees’ staff and our District partners at the Urban Forestry Division (UFD). Jess Sanders and Arielle Conti from our Technical Services and Research Department presented on our tree mortality study and citizen-science inventory efforts. Earl Eutsler and his staff from UFD spoke about canopy tracking, and some of the challenges and successes they’ve encountered enforcing D.C.’s laws on tree protection and replacement.
Overall it was a great conference which provided significant international exposure to our efforts and those of our partners to achieve the city’s 40% canopy by 2032. And of those partners, one thing was spoken about over and over again – the importance of volunteers, not only to plant, prune and water the trees, but to advocate for strong city tree budgets, rigorous tree protections, and effective planning for a tree-filled future!
Thanks for all that you do to help us achieve our mission at Casey Trees – I’ll see you at a tree event this fall!