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    More Housing, More Trees:

    Giving Oregonians Both

     

    2024 Oregon Urban & Community Forestry Conference

     

  • The 2024 Oregon Urban & Community Forestry Conference will be held on Thursday, June 27th in Eugene. Hosted by Oregon Community Trees, this annual conference is supported by the Oregon Department of Forestry and USDA Forest Service.

     

    This year’s conference will bring advocates for more housing, greater density, and infill in existing residential neighborhoods together with advocates for preserving and expanding urban forest canopy to ensure the health and well-being of Oregon’s residents.

    Sign up for this year's conference below.

    Early bird tickets are on sale through June 7th!

  • New Conference Feature!

    Poster Presentations

     

    OCT is organizing the conference, which is co-sponsored by the Oregon Dept. of Forestry and the USDA Forest Service. Presentations can be about successes in preserving large, healthy shade trees or room to plant them on residential or commercial properties that were developed or redeveloped with an increased density level. Also sought are presentations about methods of tree preservation during construction, ideas for redesigning streets and right-of-way planting strips to make room for larger trees, and similar concepts.

     

    For more information and to submit a poster presentation, follow the link below!

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    Interested in Sponsoring this year's conference?

     

    2024 Sponsorship Packet

    See this year's sponsor packet for more info! To donate via card, visit the sponsor page below.

     

    Questions? Contact us at:

    conference@oregoncommunitytrees.org

  • 2024 Speakers & Panelists

     

    OCT is proud to present this year’s opening speaker, Kaarin Knudson. Knudson recently won the primary race to be Eugene’s next mayor. She is a licensed architect and educator with more than 20 years’ experience advancing sustainable design and community-led solutions. In 2017, she founded the housing advocacy organization Better Housing Together (BHT), to increase housing affordability, diversity and supply in Lane County. She now teaches a graduate urban design workshop at the University of Oregon and is co-author of The Sustainable Urban Design Handbook.

     

    Explaining the origins and depth of Oregon’s housing crisis will be Jena Hughes, a Housing and Growth Management Analyst with the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development. Hughes, who grew up in Oregon, has extensive experience as a long-range planner focused on housing and land use issues.

     

    Making the case for why more tree canopy is vital to urban residents will be Dutch-Canadian environmental engineer Nadine Galle. Just this year Galle was named a National Geographic Explorer, researching how growing cities across Latin America are plugging into the Internet of Nature. Her new book ,The Nature of Cities: Harnessing the Power of the Natural World to Survive a Changing Planet, will be on sale at the conference.

     

    The 2024 conference will include two panel sessions discussing the preservation of large mature trees during development and how to offset the loss of trees by replanting and maintaining existing trees. Panelists will include:

    • Ted Labbe, co-director of DePave, which creates new spaces for trees and other plants by removing pavement
    • Laura Buhl, Community Green Infrastructure Program Administrator at the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development
    • Ryan Gilpin, a consulting arborist working on tree preservation assessments with Nidus Consulting in Portland
    • Eli Spivak, a Portland developer who has preserved trees in some of his projects
    • Jim Gersbach, one of the founding members of the non-profit tree education and advocacy group Trees for Life Oregon
    • Chris Neamtzu, Community Development Director for the City of Wilsonville, responsible for overseeing Planning, Building, Engineering and Economic Development services

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    Kaarin Knudson

    Kaarin Knudson is a licensed architect, educator, and leader with more than 20 years’ experience advancing sustainable design and community-led solutions. In 2017, she founded the housing advocacy organization Better Housing Together (BHT), to increase housing affordability, diversity and supply in Lane County, and was awarded the City of Eugene’s “Community Award” in 2018. Knudson advised on the implementation of Oregon’s landmark middle housing laws and advocated for the creation of Eugene’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund. She is a longtime member of the City Club of Eugene, and she served as its president in 2022-2023. She teaches a graduate urban design workshop at the University of Oregon and is coauthor of a new textbook, The Sustainable Urban Design Handbook (Routledge, April 2024).

     

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    Jena Hughes

    Jena Hughes (she/her) is a Housing and Growth Management Analyst at the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD). Prior to joining DLCD, Hughes spent seven years in local government as a long-range planner working primarily on housing and land use issues. Having grown up in Oregon, Hughes has always felt a strong connection to trees and passion for climate action that eventually led her to study Sustainable Environmental Design and City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley. In her current role, she aims to find creative solutions for addressing complex housing challenges while being guided by her values of equity and sustainability.

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    Ted Labbe

    Ted Labbe (BA, MS) has served with Depave since 2008, as a founding board member, active volunteer, and most recently as Co-Director of Finance and Partnerships. He is a conservation biologist with 30 years professional experience in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors delivering conservation planning, habitat mapping and assessment, community organizing, urban greening, and policy analysis.

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    Ryan Gilpin

    As Principal Consultant at Portland-based Nidus Consulting, arborist Ryan Gilpin is a contributing author of an International Society of Arboriculture-published book on best management practices for protecting trees during construction. He works with developers to identify the best trees on properties they plan to build on, design around those trees, and protect them during construction. Gilpin has also developed a process with Clean Water Services in Washington County to identify which ash trees are likely to be at the highest risk from emerald ash borer. He also has performed post-storm tree inspections for homeowners in neighborhoods hit by high winds and ice in January 2024. A North Portland resident, Gilpin gives numerous tree walks and tree-related classes and workshops.

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    Chris Neamtzu

    Chris Neamtzu is the Community Development Director for the City of Wilsonville where he is responsible for overseeing Planning, Building, Engineering and Economic Development services. With 29 years at the City, Chris is intimately involved in all aspects of planning, public policy and development in the community. As the Planning Director for over a decade (2008-2018), he has planned and implemented many residential neighborhoods where preserved trees are the focal point. He served on the Oregon Community Trees board of director’s for 10-years and served as President of the organization for two-years. Chris was raised in Culver City, California and earned his degree in Natural Resources Planning from Humboldt State University. Chris is a current member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and lives in Sherwood, Oregon with his wife of 25 years Margot and his 18 year old son Jonathan.

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    Dr. Nadina Galle

    Dr. Nadina Galle is a Dutch-Canadian ecological engineer, TEDx and keynote speaker, and author of the forthcoming book "The Nature of Our Cities: Harnessing the Power of the Natural World to Survive a Changing Planet," slated for release by HarperCollins on June 18, 2024. Renowned for championing the concept of the "Internet of Nature," she leads a global movement of innovators leveraging emerging technologies to cultivate vibrant, nature-infused communities. Galle won the European Space Agency’s top prize for her groundbreaking work on individual tree crown delineation to combat urban deforestation and has garnered numerous academic and entrepreneurial accolades. Among these is a Fulbright scholarship for a fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Senseable City Lab, where she maintains a research affiliation. Recently named a 2024 National Geographic Explorer, she investigates how cities across Latin America are embracing the "Internet of Nature" to forge resilient ecosystems.

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    Laura Buhl

    Laura Buhl was born in Oregon and raised in the Columbia Gorge and the Willamette Valley. She is the Community Green Infrastructure Program Administrator at the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development, where she was previously a land use and transportation planner for the Transportation and Growth Management Program and realized the power of trees to make cities more walkable. Laura has been a land use planner for the City of Detroit, Michigan, and for her home county of Wasco County, Oregon. She has volunteered as a Crew Leader with Friends of Trees since 2017. She holds a BA in American Studies from Mills College, a Master of Community and Regional Planning from the University of Oregon, and a Graduate Certificate in Urban Forestry from Oregon State University.