Announcing our NEW Volunteer Specialist, Heather!
December 15, 2015
It’s my pleasure to introduce myself as the new Volunteer
Specialist at Sacramento Tree Foundation! My name is Heather Smith and I just
joined the Sac Tree crew November 18. As
an outdoor enthusiast and forever tree-hugger, I am super excited about joining
an organization dedicated to growing healthy, livable communities by building
the best urban forest in the nation.
I recently traded in the temperate deciduous forests (and
cold winters) of Wisconsin for the diverse forest biomes (and perpetual sunshine)
of California.I earned my bachelor’s in
Biology at Michigan State University and my master’s in Environmental Science
with a focus on volunteerism, outreach, and education at the University of
Wisconsin - Madison.
I am thrilled to
join the Sacramento Tree Foundation and cannot wait to meet all of you
volunteers, partners, and supporters!
I kicked off my first week by attending a volunteer tree
planting event at Stone Lakes Wildlife Refuge on November 21.This wildlife refuge gem, located in Elk
Grove, plays a crucial role in protecting and conserving habitat for Central
Valley wildlife. With the help of volunteers, Sac Tree has planted over 500 plants
and trees at this particular 13-acre plot at Stone Lakes over the past three
Fuelled by coffee, fresh fruit, and a little sugar (who can
resist breakfast pastries?), I joined a group of 35 volunteers on a beautiful
day for a tree planting event. With blue skies, ample sunshine, sand hill
cranes flying over head, and sounds of volunteer laughter; I couldn’t have
asked for a better introduction. And we had a group of real hustlers, folks! We
completed the planting in record time – 200 native plants in the ground in less
than 2.5 hours!
I enjoyed touring Stone Lakes Wildlife Refuge, getting to
know our volunteers and staff, and admiring our newly-planted trees and shrubs.
And I learned a few things too. Most
importantly, our volunteers are a really fun, dedicated, hard-working, and
flexible group of individuals. Secondly, it appears that our tree planting
events run like a well-oiled machine. We’ve done a great job recruiting and
supporting volunteers to help us with our mission of planting 5 million trees
in the region, but we’re just getting started!
I am envisioning the creation of a dynamic, vibrant, and
evolving volunteer program with a variety of volunteer positions requiring
varying levels of commitment and skill level. I’d like to create a program that
allows volunteers to gain a deeper understanding of urban forestry, ecological restoration,
and community engagement while giving volunteers the opportunity to graduate to
positions with more responsibility, creativity, and ownership. I’d love to hear
from you on what you’d like our volunteer program to look like and how best to
enhance the volunteer experience!
Please drop me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), give me a call
(916-974-4310), or sign up for one of our upcoming
events. I am here to listen to your ideas and to get to know your stories.
I invite your feedback as we move forward with developing a robust volunteer
program here at the Sacramento Tree Foundation. Please join us in this journey!