He’s Canadian, but we haven’t heard him say “loonie” or “eh” yet. We’ve heard him emphasize a few other words, though, such as: “Right Plant, Right Place.”
Friends of Trees’ new Green Space Initiative Specialist, Keith Nevison, grew up in the United States near the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, where he saw mostly one kind of plant—poppies. Years of travel, study, and a wide range of work experiences only enhanced his appreciation for diverse species, especially rare, endangered and drought-tolerant plants. He hopes to help Friends of Trees introduce new species to the I-205 Multi-Use Path plantings, where young plants face even greater challenges than they do in city neighborhoods.
Keith’s sustainability work encompasses biodynamic farming, milking cows, peach ranching, and potting drought-tolerant plants. While production specialist at Sherwood’s Xera Plants as he earned his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies cum laude from Portland State University, Keith partnered with Metro and PSU’s Department of Architecture on an ecoroof design with native plants drawn from dryland ecosystems across Oregon. He also partnered with the Oregon Department of Transportation to create an on-campus orchard of 25 kinds of fruit trees.
For his contributions to sustainability, PSU chose him from a student body of about 30,000 to receive the prestigious Sustainability Leadership Award. He also received Solutions Generator Awards in both 2011 and 2012.
At Friends of Trees, Keith hopes to continue finding sustainable solutions and to help expand the Green Space Initiative’s community partnerships.
“I bring connections with the horticultural world with me,” he said, “and connections with people who work in the nursery industry.”
He also looks forward to connecting with the crew leaders who make the Green Space Initiative program successful. If you signed up for the Green Space Initiative Crew Leader Training on Oct. 27, you’ll see him there!