Alliance for Community Trees News

Alliance For Community Trees Day: Inspiration, Practical Tools & Advocacy 

By Conni Kunzler | December 4, 2017

Alliance for Community Trees Day, November 14, 2017

What a wonderful day in Tulsa! Over 100 attendees spent Tuesday, prior to the Partners in Community Forestry Conference, engaging with one another, sharing their stories, and challenging each other to grow their organizations.

Speakers provided inspiration, practical application, and ideas to Alliance for Community Trees members and supporters. From managing political change to managing volunteers, many topics were covered to enhance ACT members abilities to lead community change through tree planting and advocacy.

Some of the highlights included an encouraging word from Jan Davis, program manger of Urban & Community Forestry at the U.S. Forest Service. She reminded attendees that what they do is very important in making changes within communities across the country and that there are new priorities with new agendas.

The ED of the Tulsa Community Foundation, Phil Lakin, shared trends in fundraising and related them to how ACT organizations may want to think about messaging in the future. His advice to “lead, collaborate, and support” each other is very timely for the challenges that ACT members groups face each day.

All the speakers worked diligently to present the latest in trends, social science, advocacy, unique partnerships, and more. The after-lunch presentation was designed to create conversation and it truly did! Seven speakers chose seven different topics and spoke lightning round style for seven minutes. After they completed their talks, each table was given an opportunity to discuss what they learned and present that to the entire group. Using Play-Doh as a brainstorming tool and assorted candy as energy, participants were not bashful in sharing their ideas for the future of Urban and Community Forestry roles for nonprofits.

The day wrapped up with additional speakers and the opportunity to gather over libations at the end of the day. Myles Ritchie, first time attendee from ACT member The Outdoor Circle (Hawaii) said, “This was a day of inspiration and learning. I will be back!”

A big thank you to our speakers, moderators, facilitators, and program committee for their help and support. Have ideas for next year? Reach out to Dana, (dkarcher@arborday.org), Mary, (msweeney@arborday.org) or Matt (mspitsen@arborday.org). We would love to hear from you and we will see you in Irvine, CA on November 6, 2018!

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