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For Release: Monday, July 8, 2013

21st Annual NY ReLeaf Conference to be Held in the Utica-Rome Area July 18 to 20

Conference to Feature Workshops, Field Tours and Speaker to Promote Active Tree Management in Local Communities

"Rust 2 Green 2013" Theme Focuses on Transforming Vacant Urban Properties Into Usable Green Spaces

The 21th Annual New York ReLeaf Conference, "Rust 2 Green 2013," will be held July 18-20 at SUNY-IT in Marcy, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today.

New York's ReLeaf Conference fosters partnerships among tree professionals, citizen volunteers, educators, government and the private sector, offering a unique opportunity for attendees from all regions of the state to share experiences, ideas and new information about the management and care of our state's community trees.

Arborists, tree care workers, tree board members, community volunteers, public and private sector foresters, landscape architects, horticulturists and government officials are all encouraged to attend to learn more about opportunities and partnerships within the tree community.

The theme of this year's conference, "Rust 2 Green 2013," will be promoted by one of the keynote speakers, Kevin Caravati, senior research scientist at the Georgia Tech Research Institute, who will discuss various projects he and his colleagues have worked on to transform vacant city properties into usable green spaces for the community. Matt Driscoll, president and CEO of the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation, will also discuss various green infrastructure projects, or "building with nature" to solve urban problems such as storm water management, that were completed using state grant money.

Additional workshops will focus on the "Save the Rain" program in Onondaga County, proper tree planting, insects and diseases of landscape trees and urban soils. Friday afternoon field tours will include various green infrastructure projects in the Utica-Rome area, as well as the Hamilton College Campus and Arboretum. Continuing education credits will be available from the International Society of Arboriculture and the Society of American Foresters in addition to NYS-DEC Pesticide, Certified Nursery Professional (CNP) and Landscape Architect (LA) recertification credits.

On Saturday July 20th, the Herkimer-Oneida Counties Comprehensive Planning Program (HOCCPP) is partnering with the conference to provide an opportunity for local planning and zoning board members to receive training on a variety of land use and green infrastructure topics to complete their yearly training requirement; participants will be able to earn at least four hours of training credit.

Prior registration is required by July 10. Registration will still be available after this date, but at an increased cost. For more information and to register for this conference, please visit the website at www.nysurbanforestrycouncil.com.

New York ReLeaf is a state program promoting management and care of our state's community trees. It is a cooperative effort coordinated by the DEC and NYS Urban and Community Forestry Council (NYSUCFC) with major funding supplied through the USDA Forest Service.