Blog Post By Jona Elwell

Ch-Ch-Changes in the Education Department

Between tree care events, TreeWise, Community Tree Plantings, and our classes, chances are if you’ve volunteered with Casey Trees you’ve interacted with one of our magical Education Department staff members. Because of this, we’d like to introduce you to the newest faces in our Education Department. One might look familiar!

We are absolutely thrilled Maddy McPhee, former Volunteer Engagement Intern, is joining us as Community Education Coordinator. Learn some more about Maddy:

Casey Trees (CT): Welcome (officially) aboard! So tell us – Who is Maddy McPhee?
Mandy McPhee (MM):I moved to D.C. about a year ago after graduating from the University of Toronto where I studied Ecology and Genetics, and yes, I’m Canadian. Aside from trees, I enjoy catching insects, identifying fungi, and playing soccer. I’m looking forward to working with more folks and hopefully teach them something they may not know- like why monkey puzzle trees are the best!

CT: How did you originally get involved with Casey Trees?
MM: In 2015 as a Healthy Trees Healthy Cities intern with the Nature Conservancy, I went around Philadelphia with a team assessing the health of street trees, similar to our Survival Study. I wanted to explore D.C. the same way I got to explore Philly, so Casey Trees was a natural step forward.

CT: Most memorable experience as our Volunteer Engagement Intern?
MM: The Dumbarton Oaks Community Tree Planting last year was one for the books. We had volunteers planting on what I call a mountain, having to use climbing ropes to get to their flagged spot, all while carrying huge junipers and shovels. In the end, the volunteers loved the challenge (I hope).

CT: And always and forever – what’s your favorite tree?
MM: Monkey puzzle tree. I hope to get one as my Christmas tree this year.

 

Next up is our newest Community Engagement Ally. A D.C. native, Jasmine will be helping Education at plantings, outreach events, and more!

Casey Trees (CT): Tell us about yourself! Who is Jasmine Young?
Jasmine Young (JY): I am a 25-year-old who was born and raised in D.C. One of my life’s goals is to own two cats. Another of my life’s goals is to own a bike with drop bars.

CT: What drew you to Casey Trees?
JY: I was drawn to Casey Trees’ mission. I am a huge fan of shade, clean air, and reduced energy costs in the summer. Also, I think trees make a neighborhood look more inviting.  

CT: How did you get interested in the urban forestry/research field?
JY: When I started bike commuting crosstown, I started to take note of the disparities in everything from roads to transit to grocery options to hospitals and gyms. This sparked my interest in urban planning. Trees are important parts of infrastructure because they contribute to a neighborhood’s health and livability.

CT: We’re predictable – favorite tree?
JY: That’s a hard question to answer, but if I had to whittle (I crack myself up) it down to two, I would choose either pine trees or cherry trees. I love the way pine trees smell and cherry tree blossoms happen to be both beautiful and pink.

Want to get involved with our Education department or one of the other equally talented and awesome departments at Casey Trees? Check out our job openings. Want to know more about Maddy or Jasmine (or trees?)? Register for one of our fall events – we have classes, inventories, plantings – and you may see them there!

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