The 2019 WAA/DNR Annual Conference was held in Green Bay on February 17-19. This year surpassed last year’s record attendance and showcased a variety of wonderful presenters from across the country. Those in attendance were from the private industry, business owners, municipal staff, and state employees. The conference had five different tracks: general sessions, climbers corner, introductory, business and utility. Across these tracks many topics were covered, from insects and pests to climbing and ensuring morale amongst staff. This three-day conference also hosted many different exhibitors from the industry to provide up-to-date technology, equipment and practices to improve their work.
Those who attended, including DNR staff, not only enjoyed making professional connections with industry professionals and their peers, but also gained knowledge from those leading the field. The Wisconsin Arborist Association (WAA) and DNR brought together speakers from across the country to present on leading research, recent studies and their results, and hit home some big topics that should be important to everyone trying to grow their business. First time attendee and DNR urban forestry grants manager, Sarah Zimmerman, described her experience at the conference as, “excellent and a wonderful way to learn more and meet new people in my industry.”
Every year the conference also inaugurates the next year’s WAA board members. Briana Frank, the new WAA President, expressed how excited she is for the coming year and working to develop the associations next strategic direction. The conference also announced WAA awardees for distinguished service and an honorary life membership. The Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council also presented their awards at the conference for those individuals, groups and organizations that are advocates for trees and use trees to help better their communities and its members.
The DNR is honored to be part of this long-standing partnership with the WAA and help host this conference. This conference helps rejuvenate people’s passion for their work. Bringing people together to connect over this shared interest and swap stories and ideas is one of the goals of the event. Consider attending next year’s conference so you experience all the benefits attending. Visit the urban forestry training and events page for information about this conference and other urban forestry related events.