Different Angles of Appeal
Urban forestry offers a lot of different ways to play. Leslie broke down how the industry can be approached from a few angles, depending on what resonates with people.
There’s the outdoor angle. Arborists get to work outside doing hands-on work in and around trees. That has serious appeal to some. Leslie saw first-hand in their youth employment program teens who struggled to engage in typical classroom settings came alive while working outdoors.
There is the planning angle. For those more comfortable at a desk, plotting out big picture goals, working at a landscape scale, and crafting plans on how to shape the urban forest with maps and data.
There is the political angle. Political savviness is a must for urban foresters. A city arborist is often asked last or near to last to weigh in on decisions. It’s incumbent on city arborists to be strong advocates and influence decision-makers to get trees the support they need.
Of course, roles can contain all three of these angles, and that variety can be a draw too. That’s what pulled Leslie in. A chance to be physically active outdoors planting trees, while making plans for where they should go, and convincing others why it needed to happen.