Hello Vermont tree tribe! My name is Greta Binzen and I am so pleased to be this summer’s intern with the Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program (VT UCF).
A little bit about me: I grew up in the small town of Strafford, Vermont which, while certainly quiet, is full of charm and unbounded in natural beauty. Growing up I was never bored (and usually dirty) from time spent outdoors. As I transitioned through my education, and now into college, I carried a love for Vermont’s streams, mountains and most importantly forests with me. I just finished my sophomore year at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY where I’m an Environmental Studies major and a Mathematics minor. In the past semester, I learned everything from GIS technology to measuring stream discharge and environmental policy theory. My classes keep me busy and engaged but I still save some time on the weekends for trips up to the Adirondacks or walks in the woods adjoining my campus.
While I love my life at Skidmore, being home in Vermont for the summer is a joy. Working with VTUCF is a great opportunity for me to learn about environmental management and the impact of local leadership. Hopefully by the end of the summer, this internship will also have presented the opportunity to give a little back to the people and places that make Vermont so special.
The internship will focus on the Vermont Tree Warden program and how VTUCF can better support and recognize the Vermonters who keep our towns safe and scenic through proper tree management. For readers who are unfamiliar with the Tree Warden Program (like I was before I was hired!), here’s a little background: In Vermont, and all New England states, each town is required to appoint a volunteer tree warden. The tree warden is primarily charged with making decisions about removals of hazardous trees within the public rights-of-way and on public land, in the interest of public safety. Tree Warden in Vermont are often also engaged in tree inventory, planting, regular maintenance, and outreach at the local level.
As the summer progresses, my work with VTUCF will include expanding and updating the tree warden database, improving the tree warden resources on our website, developing a tree warden manual, and generating a suite of profiles on current, engaged tree wardens. Stay tuned for updates and wish me luck!