Tree Stewards of Arlington and Alexandria are Northern Virginia volunteers who take the lead to enhance a sustainable urban forest through volunteer activities and public education programs. Our volunteer activities include:
- planting, pruning, mulching and watering of street, park and school trees
- staffing informational booths at farmers’ markets and local festivals
- leading neighborhood Tree Walks and speaking at community gatherings
- advocating for trees wherever and whenever needed
Our chapter took root in 2001, with help from Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Urban Forestry Council’s Trees Virginia.
After a steady growth in membership, TSAA in 2010 adopted bylaws, elected a board of directors to oversee its budget and programs, and reaffirmed its partnerships with Arlington County, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Alexandria City and Trees Virginia. Also in that year TSAA became a registered nonprofit with the state of Virginia and the IRS.
TSAA welcomes all citizens who care about trees to join us. For information on training classes, upcoming activities, requesting a Tree Steward speaker, or to comment on trees in your neighborhood, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Officers for 2018 are:
President: Kurt Moser
Kurt Moser is an independent researcher/ecologist and co-founder of the Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation. As a Tree Steward (class of 2010), he has coordinated several grant-funded tree planting and tree giveaway events in Alexandria, and he was a member of the Tree Stewards board from 2012-2015. His past experience includes nearly seven years as a program manager for Earth Force, a nonprofit fostering youth-driven civic action to solve environmental problems, as well as three terms on the Alexandria Environmental Policy Commission.
VP for Membership: Jan Hull
After working in the garden industry for over 20 years, Jan retired and enrolled in the Tree Stewards program, graduating in 2015. She served as the VP for Membership in 2017. Jan also volunteers at the National Park Service greenhouse on Daingerfield Island, the Arlington County Native Plant greenhouse, and is a member of the pruning group that prunes for Arlington County in parks and on school grounds. She helped Arlington County by putting out gator bags on trees in the spring, assisted with tree distribution, and coordinated tree inspections for county plantings. She would like to work on seeing that more Tree Steward graduates remain involved, and help to maintain and increase our tree canopy.
VP for Communications: Jo Allen
Jo Allen wanted to learn more about trees following Master Naturalist training and immediately took the 2015 Tree Stewards class. She has planted, pruned, removed invasive plants, and conducted tree census with Tree Stewards and with Casey Trees in D.C. She started “Branching Out,” a sporadic guide to events that might interest Tree Stewards of Arlington and Alexandria, and in October stepped unsteadily into electronica, taking on management of social media. Jo hopes you will join her in standing up for trees.
Treasurer: Sally Burmeister
Sally became a Tree Steward in 2015 after realizing that the reason she doesn’t live in Florida is because she loves trees. She enjoys volunteering at the National Park Service greenhouse, the Arlington Native Plant Nursery, pruning and planting in Arlington and Alexandria. Her pet project is her own community of Parkfairfax Condominium in Alexandria where there are 144 treed and landscaped acres that are in need of TLC. She established a Facebook page called Parkfairfax Flora & Fauna after becoming a Tree Steward so that she could post photos and information about the trees that she finds in Parkfairfax and spread the knowledge and interest to other residents. She supports the efforts to put together a program that meets the needs of those who are interested in becoming Tree Stewards but are crushed for time because of careers, family, and other obligations.
At-Large Board Member: Naomi Peña
Naomi has a Masters in City and Regional Planning (UNC, Chapel Hill). Her career covered regional environmental planning and climate change; her climate change career included land use and land use change, a subject that includes using trees for climate mitigation and adaptation. She completed the Tree Stewards course in 2017. In addition to helping in tree plantings and ivy removal, she has been working to get two projects underway. These projects are (1) having an area in front of the River Place complex where she lives forested, and (2) restoring the Sesquicentennial Grove, which used to be along the southbound side of the George Washington Memorial Parkway north of Roosevelt Island. She would like to see if the Tree Stewards can find ways to engage more young people.
At-Large Board Member: Jane Seward
Living in the Beverly Hills neighborhood of Alexandria for 35 years gave Jane a deep appreciation for canopy trees, their environmental benefit and how they nourish her spirit. It was only after witnessing the gradual decline of the canopy that she came to realize the role of landscape mismanagement, and that she needed to learn how to take care of urban trees. In retirement she focused on learning as much as she could about trees, and spent several years thinking about how best to go about restoring the tree canopy. Jane is a problem solver and likes organizational challenges. A year ago, Jane and next-door neighbor Lynn Gas designed an all-inclusive Tree Canopy Campaign, including neighborhood involvement and promotion, sales at wholesale prices of the largest trees manageable, planting, mulching, and continuing tree care education. She completed the Tree Stewards course in 2017; the training was invaluable but perhaps more important was the time and education that individual Tree Stewards provided. The project was so successful that the Mayor of Alexandria is promoting it as a template for other organizations in Alexandria interested in growing the canopy.
At-Large Board Member: Lynn Gas
Lynn has lived in Alexandria for over 30 years. As a way to get to know some nice ladies and learn about what grows in Virginia after living out west for most of her adult life, she joined Hunting Creek Garden Club and made lifelong friends while learning a lot about gardening. About 10 years ago Lynn became a Master Gardener at Green Springs. Her love of gardening led her to taking the Tree Steward training in 2017; she used her knowledge to join with Jane Seward in developing and implementing the very successful Canopy Tree Restoration Project in Alexandria. Lynn hopes to share her knowledge and encourage other neighborhoods to improve their tree canopy.
Past President: Kate Donohue
Kate is a Master Gardener and has worked on the sunny demonstration garden at Bon Air Park in Arlington for many years. She completed Tree Stewards training in 2006 and now heads the Training Committee, which plans to offer an expanded course with more hands-on sessions for students starting in October 2018.
Tree Stewards is a statewide program sponsored by the Virginia Urban Forestry Council.
Chapters in the Dominion include:
Charlottesville/Albemarle Tree Stewards
Front Royal Tree Stewards
Lynchburg Tree Stewards
Richmond Tree Stewards
Roanoke Tree Stewards
Virginia Beach Tree Stewards (specialized Master Gardeners)