The Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Council has advised staff in determining the direction and implementation of the Program since 1991. The Council is comprises twenty members representing professional associations, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, regional officials, community tree boards, and state agencies. The Council is governed and operates under adopted bylaws; its members meet quarterly to share information and advise Program staff. Active membership and strong leadership through the Leadership Team of the Council are critical components to the group's effectiveness.
The Council meets the second Wednesday of March, June, September, and December. All Council meetings are open to the public and meeting minutes are available upon request. If you are interested in attending, email firstname.lastname@example.org for time and location.
Melissa Levy, Chair
Community Roots, LLC
Melissa is the Principal and Owner of Community Roots, LLC, which is a small consulting firm specializing in wealth-based and natural resource-based community and economic development. Melissa has over 20 years of experience in the area of small town community and economic development. She has worked with federal, state, and local governments, nonprofit organizations, foundations, and citizens groups on a wide range of natural resource based issues, including agriculture, forestry, nature-based tourism, community conservation, and more.
Melissa earned her Master of Science in Natural Resource Planning from the University of Vermont and a Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies from Binghamton University. She is Secretary and Board Member of the Vermont Environmental Consortium. Melissa lives in Hinesburg, where she serves on the Economic Development Committee and also on the Revolving Loan Fund Committee.
General Council Membership
Planning and Outreach Manager, PLA/AICP
State of Vermont, Community Planning & Revitalization
Richard Amore is a licensed landscape architect and AICP certified urban planner with 17 years’ experience leading community-driven initiatives that builds local capacity through placemaking, urban design, and downtown revitalization. His experience in urban planning, community development, and landscape architecture gives him the ability to connect place-based initiatives with local and statewide economic development efforts. Amore serves on the executive board of the Vermont Urban and Community Forestry Council and is a guest lecturer at the University of Vermont. Richard holds a B.S. in Environmental Design, a Master of Landscape Architecture, and Master of Community Planning from Auburn University.
Business Development Manager
Davey Resource Group
Hi my name is Josh Behounek and my technical title is Business Development Manager for the Davey Resource Group's Environmental Consulting division although sometimes I prefer Theoretical Arborist. I've worked for Davey for 20 years and currently my focus is on providing innovative and technical solutions for communities, nonprofits, commercial clients, and state agencies throughout the US & internationally to proactively and sustainably manage their trees and other natural resources. I spent many years as a commercial climbing arborists and plant health care technician in the Chicago region. I then moved to Columbia, MO where I started traveling the country for Davey, assisting communities with innovative urban forestry projects like inventorying all of Detroit's trees, writing the first Urban Forest Master Plan in Pittsburgh, and doing the largest i-Tree Eco project in the world in Chicago, to name a few. While in Columbia I was also an Adjunct Professor of Urban Forestry for the University of Missouri. I'm currently part of the Society of Municipal Arborist's Municipal Forestry Institute teaching cadre.
I recently moved to Vermont and am loving living and working based out of this beautiful state! I graduated from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale with a bachelor's in Forestry Resource Management, am an ISA Certified Arborist Municipal Specialist with the Tree Risk Assessment Qualification, a graduate of the Society of Municipal Arborist's Municipal Forester Institute, and have hugged dozens of national champion trees. I've also ridden in 3 Tour des Trees and love spending time on my bike, hiking, rock climbing, and winter sports.
Windham Regional Commission
Chris is Executive Director of the Windham Regional Commission based in Brattleboro, Vermont, which serves 27 towns in Southeastern Vermont. He was previously Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture and Graduate Program Coordinator at Mississippi State University; Deputy Director of Planning and Zoning for Calvert County, MD, Deputy Commissioner of Planning for Orange County, New York; Federal Policy Coordinator for the National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture; founder and Executive Director of the Baton Rouge Economic and Agricultural Development Alliance; and a Presidential Management Intern with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC. Chris holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Master of Public Policy and Administration from Mississippi State University, and a Master of Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University. He lives in Townshend, Vermont.
University of Vermont, Rubenstein School of Environment & Natural Resources
Cecilia's research at UVM focuses on the intersection of community well-being and forest stewardship. Her work has addressed issues in community-based forestry, community-based forest enterprises, communities and carbon markets, forest certification, community-level socioeconomic monitoring, institutions for collaborative management, and the working forest. Cecilia is interested in institutional arrangements for community-based resource management, especially as they affect equity and sustainability in: climate change policies, community-based forestry, and forest carbon.
Landscape Architect, UVM EMG
State of Vermont, Agency of Transportation (VTrans)
Bonnie Kirn Donahue is a landscape designer, writer, and educator, joining VTrans in 2021 as Landscape Architect. Bonnie has over 10 years of experience in consulting and community-led design, working on projects from planning through construction and maintenance. Bonnie graduated from Cornell University with a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture and a master's degree from the Unviersity of Pennsylvania in architectural history and theory. She is a UVM Extension Master Gardener and active in placemaking, accessibility, and landscape/design education in central Vermont.
Limbwalker Tree Service, Inc.
Mike has followed a crooked road getting to where he is today. He wandered around for a few years after leaving college and ended up In Oregon with a job at a tree service there called General Tree Service. As time went by, he found himself more and more interested in the nature of trees, in the challenges of the work- both physical and mental, and in being absorbed in the task of climbing and working on trees. Tree work has a way of ensuring that problems, cares, or issues he might be dealing with stay on the ground as he begins to climb a tree in the morning and do not return until he reaches the ground again.
Mike became a certified arborist, moved back to Hubbardton, VT, where he grew up, and started Limbwalker Tree Service. He completed the SOUL program in 2001, became an ISA Tree Risk Assessor in 2014, and hopes to eventually qualify to become a Registered Consulting Arborist. When not talking, climbing or analyzing trees, he enjoys summertime swimming holes, coaching youth soccer, playing with his kids and dog, and wandering in the woods with his wife.
Forest Health Specialist
Vermont Dept. of Forests, Parks & Recreation
Savannah joined the Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation as a forest pathologist in 2020 and runs FPR’s Forest Biology Lab at the Vermont Agriculture and Environmental Laboratory in Randolph. Savannah’s passion for trees and tree health started when she went to the vocational school, Bristol County Agricultural High School in Dighton, Massachusetts where she majored in Arboriculture. After graduating, she earned her ISA Arborist license and continued her education in forestry at the University of Maine, where she focused her research efforts on documenting eastern white pine compartmentalization response to a native fungal pathogen. After graduating, Savannah completed her master’s degree in plant pathology at West Virginia University. While there, her research focused on several fungal pathogens of oak and determined their contributions to oak decline across the Mid-Atlantic region. Her education and research allowed her to work in a variety of forests all the way from Maine to Virginia and although she got to work in some incredible landscapes, is happy to be in Vermont.
Vermont Woodlands Association
Bio coming soon!
University of Vermont Extension
Ann has worked for UVM for over 30 years. She runs the Plant Diagnostic Clinic, where she diagnoses diseases and insect and weed problems for commercial growers and the general public. She also oversees the IPM program, the Pesticide Education and Safety program, and the Master Gardener Program for UVM Extension.
Ann is a plant pathologist and received her B.S. from Colorado State University, M.S. from Cornell University and Ph.D. from UVM.
State Pest Surveyor Coordinator
Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, & Markets
Emilie grew up in Tokyo, Japan and came to live in the United States 19 years ago. Despite enjoying urban living in the center of one of the busiest cities in the world, Emilie realized her love of the natural world and more rural living after spending a summer of backpacking in Montana. With family on the east coast, Emilie ultimately decided to attend the University of Vermont to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in forestry and graduated in 2004.
Emilie works for the Agency of Agriculture as the State Survey Coordinator and has been with the Agency for 10 years. The exotic pests that she surveys for are typically insects or pathogens that have been designated by the USDA as organisms that could cause harm to the US agriculture and/or general natural resources. In addition to surveys, Emilie also coordinates and oversees various Farm Bill related projects including the Forest Pest Outreach Project.
Owner/ Environmental Consultant, Landscape Architect
Wm Jewell and Company
William is the owner of WM Jewell and Company which Is an environmentally concerned firm dedicated to finding creative, practical and aesthetic solutions for land use projects and their interaction with the natural environment. The company offers a full range of landscape design and planning services to individuals, groups, state and local governments, and public and private agencies. Included are all phases of landscape design, town planning, permitting, environmental impact studies, and expert witness on: aesthetics, planting design, noise abatement, ecologically sound gravel mining reclamation and oil spill reclamation, erosion control, town plans, and agriculture lands.
William is the vice chair of the Guilford Conservation Commission. Has a bachelor's degree in Landscape Architecture from Pennsylvania State University and masters degree in Environmental Studies from Antioch University New England.
Robert L. McCullough
Professor, History Department
University of Vermont
Bob teaches in the University of Vermont’s Historic Preservation Program and writes about American landscapes. His books include; Landscape of Community- A History of Communal Forests in New England; A Path for Kindred Spirits- The Friendship of Clarence Stein and Benton MacKaye; Crossings- A History of Vermont Bridges; and Old Wheelways - Traces of Bicycle History on the Land. His current project documents the bicycle industry’s contributions to nineteenth-century industrial architecture. Bob has been a member of the Vermont Urban and Community Forestry Council since 1995 and has sought recognition of New England’s town forests as important historic cultural landscapes. He and principal author Sarah Graulty nominated the Hinesburg Town Forest to the National Register of Historic Places in 2016, the country’s first individually listed town forest. He has also contributed a chapter, “Town Forests–The Massachusetts Plan,” to Stepping Back to Look Forward. A History of the Massachusetts Forest, Charles H.W. Foster, ed.
Transmission & Distribution
Vegetation Management Program Manager
Vermont Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Sara is currently the Transmission & Distribution Vegetation Management Program Manager for Vermont Electric Cooperative, Inc. (VEC), the State’s second largest electric utility based in Johnson, VT. She has been instrumental in the development and implementation of a Vegetation Management Program, which is largely responsible for notable improvements in the company’s electric reliability. Sara joined VEC in 2005 after practicing forest management throughout the Northeast Kingdom for nearly 15 years.
Sara is a Society of American Foresters Certified Forester and is a Licensed Forester in the States of Vermont and New Hampshire. She is a member of the International Society of Arboriculture and the Utility Arborist Association. Sara holds an Associate degree in Natural Resource Management from Sterling College and a B.S. in Forest Management from the University of Maine.
When she is not working to improve reliability to VEC’s 32,000 member-owners, Sara enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter.
Tim Parsons has been the Landscape Horticulturist at Middlebury College since 2006. His responsibilities include care and maintenance of the colleges’ urban forest, landscape design and installation, and sustainable turf grass management. He teaches a winter term Biology class, Trees and the Urban Forest, which looks at not only tree and urban forest biology, but computer modeling for urban tree benefits. He is a member of the college’s Master Plan Implementation Committee, the Emergency Response Team, and the Community Council, and has served on the Environmental Council. Tim graduated from the University of Vermont in 1989 with a B.S. in Plant and Soil Science with an Environmental Studies co-major. He is a Vermont Certified Horticulturist, and a Certified Arborist and Tree Risk Assessor qualified by the International Society of Arboriculture.
In the Green industry for over 35 years, he has run a garden center, ran his own landscape design/build company, and been a caretaker for a large estate. Tim lives at the base of Snake Mountain in Weybridge, Vermont, with his wife, 3 daughters, and too many gardens. He writes about the landscape and environmental topics on his blog, The Middlebury Landscape.
Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission
Darren grew up in Santa Clara, CA helping tend his family’s mini-orchards, which inspired him to pursue a B.S. in Natural Resources from the Rubenstein School at the University of Vermont. He has served as both a member of its Conservation Committee and the Planner for the Town of Essex, where he helped establish the town’s first Street Tree Management Plan as well as its Conservation Reserve Fund. He currently works as a Senior Planner for the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission, supporting community development initiatives in land use policy, housing, energy, and urban design for member towns as well as at the regional and statewide level.
City Arborist and Forester
City of Rutland
Tim was hired by the City of Rutland as the Assistant Forester in November of 2016, and then took over as the City Arborist and Forester upon David Schneider's retirement in January 2021. Tim earned his bachelor's degree in Forestry from Paul Smith's College and holds his ISA Arborist Certification, Vermont Pesticide Applicator's License, and Vermont Forester's License. Tim is an avid hunter and resides in Orwell with his wife and children.
Now retired, Warren was Burlington’s City Arborist for 34 years. He is an ISA and Massachusetts Certified Arborist working in Commercial, Municipal, and Consulting Arboriculture since 1976. Warren has served as State Director, President and Certification Liaison for the New England Chapter – ISA. He is a member of the advisory board for the Arboriculture and Landscape Management program at Paul Smith’s College. Locally he has been actively involved with the Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program and is a current council member and past chair. He is also the volunteer Tree Warden in his hometown of Essex Junction, VT which also has an active Tree Committee that has completed a Tree Inventory, Tree Policy and recently completed a Tree Management Plan.
Scott Wunderle, PLA, ASLA
Owner, Landscape Architect
Terrigenous Landscape Architecture
Scott grew up in southern Vermont. As one of four children raised by a sociologist and a philosopher, his childhood was a combination of art, music, labor, family, being out-doors, projects, and travel. The importance of being true to yourself and respect for the surrounding landscape were the basis for much of the way he grew up.
From 1988 to 1993, Scott attended Rhode Island School of Design and earned a Bachelor Degree in Fine Art, and a Bachelor Degree in Landscape Architecture. Following graduation he worked as a model maker for Martha Schwartz Inc., as an intern at Harvard University's Arnold Arboretum, and for Gordon Hayward Landscape Gardening and Design in Westminster, Vermont.