Trees have been here long before humanity made its mark on Earth’s landscape. Their centuries-long lives are hard for people to fathom, and their silent impacts are often hard to recognize. It is time their ecological benefits are recognized, said Lori Brockelbank.
Brockelbank, a certified arborist and project manager for the Davey Resource Group, will discuss these benefits at the Monarch Moments & More lecture at 12:15 p.m. Monday, August 6, in Smith Wilkes Hall, sponsored by the Bird, Tree & Garden Club. Brockelbank said she hopes she can help attendees view trees in a different light that they can then take to back their respective communities.
“They’re not just a beautiful thing in the landscape, but they actually contribute to the community around it,” Brockelbank said. “It’s actually one of the few things that appreciate in value (with time) and not depreciate to some point.”
Brockelbank grew up surrounded by woods, and she took every opportunity to explore, falling in love with them more and more every day, she said. Turning her passion into a career is a gift, Brockelbank said.
“I’m blessed and very fortunate that I get the opportunity, and I did find that,” Brockelbank said. “I keep growing, and that keeps growing with me.”
Brockelbank does a variety of tasks working with the Davey Resource Group in western New York, helping to educate communities on trees and their importance. With her help, Jamestown Community College became the first community college in the state recognized by Tree Campus USA, an honor given to campuses that effectively manage trees and educate students on the matter.
“It was an amazing opportunity to give back to the college that gave me the chance to grow into the person I am today,” Brockelbank said. “To give back to them and help them, … showing them what urban forestry is and (to) look at trees differently in a positive way is amazing.”
Increased awareness and funding is still necessary for there to be a significant impact for trees, Brockelbank said. She said it’s important the awareness grows.
“More citizens need to be more aware,” Brockelbank said. “We need to be spreading the news a lot more. We need everybody tying in that this is an important asset to their community, and they should also be working to be protecting it.”
Brockelbank said she hopes the messages and information shared at her lecture Monday, August 6, will be applicable outside the Institution.
“The main thing I would love to see is for the people in attendance to go back to their own community and be advocatesfor their trees,” Brockelbank said. “I’m training them how to be Loraxes.”
To sum up her message, Brockelbank pointed to a quote she thinks best portrays her mission.
“We’re just a small drop in a vast ocean,” Brockelbank said. “I want that drop to grow (into) a body of water, to grow into an ocean.”