December 2018 Note from the Chairs

Happy Holidays! We hope you are enjoying this special time of year with family and friends. As our thoughts turn toward 2019, we want to make sure you have our Annual Membership Meeting on your radar. We’ll be gathering March 6 at The Nature Conservancy’s headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, followed by an evening reception at U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C. As always, it will be a wonderful opportunity to learn from one another and network with fellow members, including new members like the Professional Grounds Management Society, profiled below. We hope to see you there, and in the meantime, send our best wishes for a happy, healthy new year!

SUFC Steering Committee in Washington, D.C.

The SUFC Steering Committee met December 5 in Washington, D.C. Gerry Gray, SUFC Co-Chair, attended the National Association of State Foresters (NASF) reception that evening on behalf of the Coalition, where Senator Ron Wyden (Oregon), along with Representative Mike Simpson (Idaho),  was awarded with the 2018 Bernard L. Orell Award.

Senator Wyden is a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and Representative Simpson is a member of the House Appropriations Committee. Both have been advocates for the public benefits of forestation and improving the health of the nation’s trees. Read more about their efforts to support urban and community forestry and advancing a fix for funding wildfire suppression HERE.

New Member Spotlight

The Coalition now consists of 37 national organizations working together to advance urban and community forests. As new members join our Coalition, we’re taking the opportunity to share more about their background information and learn more on their thoughts on the value of urban and community forestry, along with how they hope to engage with SUFC and fellow members. This month, we spoke with Stephanie Bruno, Executive Director for the Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS).

What should we know about PGMS?

As the oldest individual membership society for grounds professionals, we work to advance the grounds management profession through education and professional development. Our members-more than 1,000 grounds managers at universities and colleges, parks and recreation departments, municipalities, hotels/resorts, office parks, cemeteries, and hospitals, in addition to landscape contractors-have growing responsibilities outside of traditional grounds management. PGMS provides the adapting manager with opportunities for professional growth through individual certifications-Certified Grounds Manager (CGM®) and Certified Grounds Technician (CGT®)-and institutional accreditation. Our Landscape Management and Operations Accreditation program utilizes peer expertise to evaluate strategic grounds management principles and practices that produce and guide the delivery of properties to an attractive, healthy, sustainable, and high-quality state.

What drew you to SUFC?

Several PGMS members suggested we become involved because of the commonality between PGMS’ and SUFC’s objectives. Many of the challenges our members face at their respective institutions, such as invasive species and changing environmental conditions, are also areas of concern for SUFC and member organizations.

What do you see as the benefits of SUFC membership?

We’re looking forward to working with both SUFC and allied associations on issues facing our industry, with a specific focus on enhancing public awareness and addressing the labor shortage.

Annual Dues

Please note the 2019 Annual Membership Dues invoices will be emailed the week of January 7, 2019. Payment is requested within 30 days of receipt of the invoice.

Roots and Branches

If you’re looking for a thorough run-down of the top tools available to better understand urban forests, their conditions, and their benefits, be sure to check out “A Research Toolkit for Building the Ultimate Urban Forest” on the Meeting of the Minds blog, by SUFC adviser Jennifer Judd Hinrichs.


Paul Ries and Gerry Gray
SUFC Co-Chairs