Staff & District Foresters


Danielle Fitzko

Program Manager

1 National Life Drive, Davis 2Montpelier, VT  05620-3801


Contact Danielle if you have questions about:

  • Program Administration
  • Canopy Grants
  • Partnerships
  • Green Infrastructure
  • Recognition Programs

Danielle fondly remembers 2003 when she moved to Vermont to take on the role of coordinating the state's UCF program. Living in Maryland beforehand, she and her husband Mark made a pact on New Year’s eve to move to VT within the year to live the green mountain dream. What she didn't know was that not only would their dream come true, but she would actually land her dream job too. Danielle received her B.S. from Pennsylvania State University and her M.S. from the University of Maryland focusing on urban forestry. Her passion for urban forestry started in Maryland where she worked as a Horticulture Educator for the Extension Service coordinating a multi-county Master Gardner Program. There she spent her days helping Marylanders solve a range of plant problems from turf and houseplants to vegetables and trees. At night, she spent her time advocating for smart growth principles in her own community. One day an 'ah ha' moment happened when she realized she could combine her passion for trees and smart growth with urban and community forestry. She now spends her days developing and supporting program to help Vermont communities realize the value of trees in the heart of our communities.

Kate Forrer

Community Forestry Specialist

University of Vermont Extension 327 US Route 302, Suite 1Berlin, VT  05641


Contact Kate if you have questions about:

  • Town forests
  • Our Vermont Woods
  • New Programing Opportunities

Kate started planting trees from a young age. She can still remember being given a small pine seedling in elementary school. Unfortunately, she planted it under a full canopy of towering oaks and though the tree was short lived, her passion for trees and forests only grew. Kate received a BA in Environmental Studies from Bates College in Maine and a MS from University of Vermont in Forestry. In 2006, she joined the Urban & Community Forestry Program. Since joining UVM Extension as an Urban and Community Forestry Outreach Specialist, Kate has taken on various roles from providing technical assistance to communities and volunteer groups in planning and caring for the forest in which we live to coordinating the SOUL Tree Stewards program to working with partners to develop The program has allowed her to put her passion for Vermont’s trees and forests together with her love of working with people. Always up for a challenge, Kate’s newest project involves creating Vermont's first online forestry learning center- a place for landowners, municipalities, professionals, and educators to learn, connect, and become engaged. The project seeks to foster more collaboration.

Elise Schadler

Technical Assistance Coordinator

VT Forests, Parks & Recreation, 111 West StreetEssex Junction, VT  05452


Contact Elise if you have questions about:

  • Public tree inventory and management plans
  • Public policies and ordinances regarding trees
  • Community prepardeness for emerald ash borer
  • Tree care, selection, planting, and protection
  • Vermont Tree Warden Statutes and responsibilities
  • Tree City/Tree Campus/Tree Line USA

Elise is our Technical Assistance Coordinator and has been with VT UCF since 2012. Raised in a small Ohio neighborhood of tree forts, after college she joined the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps for a pivotal year of introduction to the country's varying natural landscapes as well as social, economic, and environmental issues. Next, she directed a community-based tree planting program in Camden with the NJ Tree Foundation and eventually ventured north to pursue her M.S. from the Rubenstein School of Environment & Natural Resources at the University of Vermont. She quickly fell for the land, people, and flavor of Vermont and is happy to be able to continue her development as a professional urban forester in this magical state. She is an ISA Certified Arborist, Tree Risk Assessment Qualified, a graduate of the Municipal Forestry Institute, and a Burlington Master Naturalist. When not working Elise fills her time with seasonal outdoorsyness, coordination of large backyard dinners and community storytelling events, and spending as much quality time as possible with her husband, baby boy, and the good people that fill her life.

Gwen Kozlowski

Outreach & Education Coordinator

140 Kennedy Drive, Suite 201South Burlington, VT  05403

802-651-8343, ext 506

Contact Gwen if you have questions about:

  • Forest Pest First Detector Program
  • SOUL Tree Stewards Volunteer Program
  • Teens Reaching Youth (TRY)- Forest and Trees Program
  • Energy Savings Trees Program
  • Vermont Arbor Day Conference

Gwen has returned to Vermont to join the VT UCF team as the Volunteer Coordinator. She completed her undergraduate degree in Natural Resources at UVM. Since then, Gwen has worked throughout New England in the field as a researcher and in communities as an educator. She is passionate about helping connect people to the important natural resources all around us, whether it's an urban park or rural landscape. She was most recently the Stewardship & Education Manager at the Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust, an urban land trust located in Massachusetts.

Ginger Nickerson

Forest Pest Education Coordinator

UVM Extension, 327 US Route 302, Suite 1Barre, VT  05641


Contact Ginger if you have questions about:

Invasive forest pests

  • Education & outreach events on invasive forest pests
  • and our bi-monthly newsletter

Ginger joined the UCF team as the Forest Pest Education Coordinator in the fall of 2018. Many of Ginger’s fondest memories involve trees and forests – including “running away from home” to sit in the branches of a hemlock in her family’s backyard in Massachusetts. With an undergraduate degree in botany from the University of Wisconsin and a graduate degree in Natural Resource Management Policy and Behavior from the University of Michigan, Ginger has long been fascinated by people’s relationship with plants and the land, and in finding ways to maximize community input in natural resource management decisions. To that end, Ginger spent a number of years after graduate school working for community development and conservation organizations in New England, Appalachia, and Central America. Some of her favorite projects involved training teens in Maine and Nicaragua to interview elders in their communities about how fishing, farming, hunting, and logging had changed over time. Prior to joining the UCF team, Ginger worked for UVM Extension’s Center for Sustainable Agriculture, helping fruit and vegetable farmers with food safety strategies.

Joanne Garton

Resilient Right-of-Way Project Coordinator

1 National Life Drive, Davis 2Montpelier, VT  05620-3801


Contact Joanne if you have questions about:

  • Trees and Roads
  • Resilient Right-of-Way project
  • Outreach at Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation

Joanne joined the UCF team in the spring of 2017 as the project coordinator for the rural roads portion of the burgeoning Resilient Right-of-Ways project, a state-led initiative focused on working with towns planning for smart vegetation management in and along their roads. Already a writer, scientist and forester-in-training with the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, Joanne will create new outreach material about tree and forest management along rural roads, particularly as it pertains to water quality in nearby streams, rivers and lakes. She will also work with 10 communities in the Lake Champlain Basin to identify their ecological, cultural, and financial values surrounding road maintenance. Joanne holds a B.Scs. in geology and architecture from McGill University and is a 2015 graduate of the Field Naturalist and Ecological Planning M.Sc. program at the University of Vermont. If she’s not identifying trees beside a roadside ditch, find her enjoying the quaint life of downtown Montpelier or playing fiddle for contra dances around New England.

District Urban and Community Foresters

Our district foresters provide technical assistance across the state, review and inspect grant-funded projects, and support Program staff in outreach and education.

Addison, Chittenden, Franklin, and Grande Isle Counties

Matt Leonard
Department of Forests, Parks, & Recreation
111 West Street
Essex Junction, VT 05452

Rutland and Bennington Counties

John Lones
Department of Forests, Parks, & Recreation
271 North Main Street, Suite 215
Rutland, VT 05701

Caledonia, Orleans, and Essex Counties

Emily Meacham
Department of Forests, Parks, & Recreation
1229 Portland Street, Suite 201
St. Johnsbury, VT 05819

Lamoille, Washington, and Orange Counties

Neil Monteith
Department of Forests, Parks, & Recreation
324 N. Main Street
Barre, VT 05641

Windsor and Windham Counties

Rick White
Department of Forests, Parks, & Recreation
100 Mineral Street, Suite 304
Springfield, VT 05156

Program Guiding Principles and Tenets of Collaboration