December 22nd, 2017|0 Comments


Each yeah, American Forests closes our offices between Christmas and New Year’s, but before we go on our Loose Leaf hiatus, we wanted to share with you some of our staff’s favorite blog posts, magazine articles and other stories. Enjoy!

Eliza Kretzmann, Urban Forests Manager
“Beauty of the Bosque”

“I was born in New Mexico, and the unique environment and culture is woven into my blood. We have a common saying in the desert southwest – agua es vida or “water is life”. These environments are poorly understood by many in the US – for example, when I woke up today, it was 50 degrees here in DC and only 25 degrees in Albuquerque, New Mexico. And did you know it snows in Albuquerque? It is often colder in the mountain southwest in December than localities such as New York City! My hometown, Santa Fe, is higher elevation than Denver, is a recognized UNESCO heritage city, and has some of the best food on the planet.

And of course, water is paramount in this environment. The Rio Grande River that runs through Albuquerque supports riparian forests called the “Bosque”, snaking through the city and providing critical habitat to wildlife, an important flyway for migratory birds, and precious water for farms in Albuquerque and nearby Native American Pueblos. The Rio Grande is also an excellent place for an urban float trip, with potential sightings of heron, coyotes, and possibly a hot air balloon! The annual International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta provides special floats to watch the mass ascension of the balloons while floating on the river.

Next time you think of New Mexico – if you ever do! – know that it is not a monolithic expanse of hot, dusty desert dotted with cacti. It ranks fourth in the United States for biodiversity. It is a vibrant and diverse landscape including crisp, cold mountaintops, and, of course, the rich valley of the Rio Grande bosque.”

Emily Barber, Marketing Manager
“Healing Plants You Can Forage”

“I’m the type of person who gets overwhelmed by the vitamin section at the drugstore, so I love the natural remedies suggested in this blog! Nature knows what’s best for our health, and these plants are all relatively easy to find.”

Justin Hynicka, Forest Conservation Manager
“The Legend of Sleepy Trees”

“I love this blog because even though trees are long-lived organisms they undergo distinct changes on a yearly basis that allow them to survive harsh conditions. The start and stop of these cycles is one thing to keep an eye on as climate changes.”

Lea Sloan, Vice President of Communications
“Trail Trees”

“I truly enjoy this post and how it showcases Native Americans’ use of the forest landscape as a natural GPS system.”

Ellie Parrish, Development Manager
“One Step at a Time: Hiking the Appalachian National Scenic Trail”

“While I’ve hiked along portions of the Applachian Trail, it’s on my bucket list to hike the whole thing at some point in my life. This article gives a good rundown of the history of the trail and the types of things hikers encounter along their trek!”

Lindsey Putz, Director of Corporate Giving
“Cultivating Hope in Detroit”

“Being from Michigan, I am a Detroit sports fan through and through. I also have many friends and family members living in or right outside of Detroit. It seems all anyone heard about Detroit was rapidly increasing amounts of crime, unemployment and abandoned land and buildings. It’s frustrating to know the city has so much to offer and so many incredible people that call it home but that always seemed to be overshadowed. I felt pride and joy reading this blog post – pride that I am working for an organization helping do such incredible work and joy in hearing the excitement of the kids and other community members participating in the work alongside staff and Bank of America employees. Knowing we are doing work like this in cities around the country brings my passion for the mission of American Forests to another level.”

Christopher Horn, Director of Communications
“Woodland Wildflowers on the Edge”

“As someone who studied magazine journalism, I cherish my work on American Forests’ magazine. That also means it’s hard for me to pick a favorite, but since I must, I have to say I really loved this piece. While I love seeing the impressive canopies and large tree trunks when I’m hiking or strolling in a forest, what I actually love is observing the smaller, more delicate parts of the forest that are typically found closer to the ground.”