Friday, February 24, 2012

Spotlight: Jim Sherald brings years of horticultural expertise to Board of Directors

When Jim Sherald retired in 2010 from the U.S. National Park Service (NPS), he knew he wanted to stay in the horticulture field, even if it was in a different capacity.

Enter Casey Trees, which Sherald worked with in the early days of the organization’s history as an advisory board member. Last year, Sherald became a member of the Board of Directors.

“Joining Casey Trees again was an opportunity to remain in the field and share my experiences from NPS with an organization I thought very highly of,” he said.

Sherald was instrumental in getting the 2002 D.C. street tree inventory completed and in his second stint with Casey Trees, he is glad to help plan for the future.

“The current focus is to stay the course and build on our D.C. programs,” he said. “In the long term, as places become more urbanized, we have to make areas sustainable and hospitable. It’s important for Casey Trees and D.C. to be a model.”

Trees — American elms in particular — are Sherald’s first love, one he gladly shares with Casey Trees. But the aspect of Casey Trees that he finds most important is citizen engagement.

“Casey Trees effectively engages citizens in understanding the value of the urban forest,” he said, “and Casey Trees’ educational tools help residents turn knowledge into active participation in restoring the tree canopy.”

Sherald participated in his first Community Tree Planting event last December at the Franciscan Monastery in Brookland. He was inspired by how many volunteers showed up and how enthusiastic they were to plant trees.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to gather with people of like mind and like interest,” he said. “It’s like a party. If you have a real — or even moderate — passion for trees, it’s for you.”

When he speaks with people about his involvement with Casey Trees, Sherald talks about how well the organization has been brought people together.

“Every person who volunteers will share the same experience and share it with neighbors.”

This Board of Directors Spotlight was featured in the February issue of our e-newsletter, The Leaflet. Read more stories from The Leaflet and sign up to updates from Casey Trees.

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