August 27, 2018 /
Jona Elwell

Say Hi to Dana, Youth Program Coordinator and Laura, HR Assistant

We’ve got some fresh faces here at 3030 12th Street. While Dana and Laura will be doing vastly different day to day tasks, they share the same Casey Trees mission: to restore, enhance and protect our dear capital. Which one attended a volunteer event and was inspired to apply? Find out below.

Laura (right) is our new HR Assistant. An avid runner, she’ll work with Jon to make sure the Casey Trees team runs smooth and steady.

Casey Trees (CT): Welcome to Casey Trees! Tell us, who is Laura?
Laura Cooper (LC): I’m Laura Cooper and I live in Columbia Heights! I am originally from Corning, New York and I graduated from Allegheny College in 2017. I am an avid runner and history enthusiast.

Casey Trees (CT):  What drew you to Casey Trees?
Laura Cooper (LC): Our individual actions have a direct impact on our communities. I am inspired by this organization’s commitment to D.C.’s tree canopy! We’re truly working for the greater good here.

Casey Trees (CT): You can only take one album to listen to on a desert island. What do you bring?
Laura Cooper (LC): Easy answer. Bringing it all Back Home (Bob Dylan 1965).


Dana is our new Youth Program Coordinator. He will manage, among many other things, our Treewise Summer Youth program and our booming School Tree Plantings.

Casey Trees (CT): Welcome to Casey Trees! Tell us, who is Dana?
Dana Gresham (DG): My first exposure to Casey Trees was as a volunteer. Chelsea led an amazing watering and mulching relay race event that totally hooked me on Casey Trees’ energy and approach. It brought me back to the times I’ve felt most engaged in my work, organizing youth leadership and environmental clubs. I also tend to find myself in the middle of a forest whenever time allows, so I couldn’t imagine a better mission than bringing the restorative effect of trees into our city.

Casey Trees (CT):  How did you get interested in the urban forestry and/or environmental nonprofit field?
Dana Gresham (DG): During Peace Corps service I spent a lot of time trying to connect community members with the environmental groups and resources that wanted to help. One thing I learned was that nothing will get done without the internal drive of the local people who want to see positive change. Projects like this only work with buy-in from an empowered population, and the benefits of urban canopy enhancement sell themselves. This is a cause with such a tangible outcome that feels especially important these days.

Casey Trees (CT): What is your favorite weekend D.C. spot?
Dana Gresham (DG): I’d really like to name drop some awesome hidden gem here but I’m more likely to have a board game night at a friend’s place than find some cool themed speakeasy. I’d say a long bike ride ending up at maybe Bluemont Park for some disc golf sounds pretty good to me. [Editor’s note: Technically that’s in Arlington, but we’re all friends in the DMV so we’ll allow it 😉 )