Congratulations to FOT Neighborhood Trees and Green Space Initiative Senior Specialist Kris Day, who was sworn in as a member of the Portland Urban Forestry Commission on Jan. 17, 2013.
The 11-member Urban Forestry Commission is a mayor-appointed group of professionals who assess and update tree policies, weigh the impacts of city development plans on the urban forest, and educate Portland residents about tree-related issues. The Commission also sponsors the Heritage Tree Program, organizes Arbor Week events, and advises the Portland Parks & Recreation director and the city forester.
At Friends of Trees, Kris splits her time between the Neighborhood Trees and Green Space Initiative programs, coordinating contractor work, managing private property restoration sites, and leading planting events. She is an ISA Certified Arborist and serves on the Education & Outreach Committee of the Urban Forestry Commission, Portland Parks & Recreation’s Neighborhood Tree Steward Training and Workshop Series, and PP&R’s Street Tree Inventory Project.
Kris was first drawn to urban forestry after spending a spring planting native trees on reclaimed strip mines in southern Ohio in 1993. By the time she completed her master’s degree in Landscape Architecture at the University of Oregon, she knew she wanted to focus on public landscape design and management. Initially she worked with Portland’s Watershed Revegetation Program, then she joined the Friends of Trees staff in January 2010.
What does Kris see as the greatest challenges to Portland’s urban forest? The same ones faced by other cities. In her words:
“As we increasingly expect trees to perform as infrastructure, we need to commit resources to ensure they can meet these expectations. Basically, we need to: 1) secure ongoing funding for adequate establishment, care and maintenance for the thousands of new trees the City has invested in to help offset stormwater related issues, and 2) establish capital status to trees as green infrastructure so that operating funds can be used to pay for ongoing maintenance of trees in the same way that grey infrastructure receives maintenance budgets.”
Always a team builder, Kris hopes “to help bridge the efforts of numerous organizations, agencies and individuals to educate about and care for our shared urban forest resource.”
Knowing all that she has accomplished at Friends of Trees, we have no doubt that Kris will build strong bridges, educate the public, and provide the vision and guidance needed to ensure that Portland has a healthy and well-maintained urban forest for many decades to come.