WDNR/WAA Conference attracts record number of attendees

By Sara Minkoff, DNR urban forestry specialist, Madison, Sara.Minkoff@wisconsin.gov, 608-669-5447; and Kim Sebastian, DNR urban forestry coordinator, Milwaukee, Kim.Sebastian@wisconsin.gov, 414-294-8675

The 2020 Annual Statewide WDNR/Wisconsin Arborist Association (WAA) Urban Forestry Conference, “Sustaining Urban Forests to Ensure a Healthy Future,” set another attendance record this past February 16-18 in Green Bay.

The 885 attendees included community foresters and administrators, professional arborists, green industry professionals, nonprofit staff, and students, who gathered to network, learn and discuss important concepts in urban forest management and practices in arboriculture.

The conference is hosted in a partnership between the WDNR and WAA. The professional association’s jointly held trade show is a premier event for regional and Wisconsin industry professionals to see the latest arborist gear, nursery equipment, tree inventory systems, and learn about educational and government programs. DNR Urban Forestry staff were again active participants in this year’s conference, from serving on the planning team, giving presentations, serving as session moderators, and assisting with registration duties.

The WDNR UF team planned a well-attended afternoon presentation on the topic of “Urban Trees and Stormwater: A Wisconsin Perspective.” The workshop speakers included DNR staff members Amy Minser and Dan Buckler; USGS research hydrologist Bill Selbig; and municipal employees involved in stormwater activities: Todd Ernster (City of Stevens Point), Pete Neuberger and Tom Duffey (City of Appleton) and Mike Mroz (City of Hudson). The conference also included a screening of “City of Trees,” a film documenting a green job training and social justice program in Washington, DC, followed by a presentation by Jeremy Kane from the Urban Tree Alliance discussing their six-year-old neighborhood-based tree planting efforts targeting low canopy areas in Madison.

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