Storytelling is a passion of our new marketing manager, Emily Barber — and thankfully she’ll get to do a lot of that in her new role at American Forests. We couldn’t be more excited to have her on staff! Read more to find out what brought Emily to American Forests.
Why did you choose to go into conservation?
As inhabitants of this planet, it’s our responsibility to take care of it. Unfortunately, not everybody thinks that way, which is why I’m so thankful for organizations like American Forests. In college I studied journalism, so my education is rooted in storytelling. As the nation’s oldest national conservation organization, American Forests has countless stories to tell. For every person who hears our story, that’s one more voice encouraging others to help make our planet a safe, happy and healthy place to live.
What aspects of American Forests’ work are you most excited to be a part of?
I’m especially excited to get involved with our Wildlands for Wildlife initiative. In addition to forest conservation, animal welfare is a cause that I’m very passionate about. So many unique and beautiful creatures make their homes in forests, and it’s important that we pay special attention to preserving these areas.
What do you think are the most significant challenges facing forests today?
It appears that people are becoming less connected with forests as city-living and office environments increase at an astounding rate. While there’s nothing wrong with living in a high-rise (I’m a self-proclaimed city girl), an “out of sight, out of mind” perspective can become all too common. It’s hard to remember that forests are a vital component of the ecosystem when the closest greenspace might be miles away. Programs like American Forests’ Community ReLeaf help educate urban areas about the importance of protecting forests no matter where you live.
Do you have a favorite story from your years in the field?
A few years ago, I worked on a project to restore a local historic site and its surrounding forest in my college town. Thanks to our work, hundreds of people were able to use the space and the owner was overjoyed that she could start hosting events and gatherings again. It was amazing to see how just a few hours of work could transform an area so dramatically. This specific project blended together human relationships and conservation, which was really beautiful to see and something I’m glad I got to be a part of.
What is your favorite tree and why?
A weeping willow! My grandparents had one in their backyard, and I would always play underneath it when I was growing up. I can remember running in between the soft branches and pretending to hide from my grandmother. Despite the name, the weeping willow’s beauty gives me joy.