Friday, October 21
This panel discussion highlights the importance of urban forestry development, challenges of urban greening, and proposed solutions to utilizing trees to bring co-benefits and offsets into the urban interface. An evaluation of the use of trees and the expansion of the urban forest will include the relationships of trees to urban heat islands, habitat restoration, energy reduction, and quality of life/views. Panelists will speak to the complexities of planting trees throughout San Diego County (published case study expected in Winter 2022), how partnership has provided solutions, and what changes will need to occur in order to continue planting a robust, sustainable urban forest for the benefit of the community and the environment.
Kurt Peacock: Kurt is an ISA-certified Arborist and has been a teacher and consultant in the industry for more than 20 years. He has worked within and around the nursery business his entire career, and specializes in tree care, fruit trees, environmental chemistry, soils and plant biology. Kurt has a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Science from California State University-Fresno.
James Berry is a Project Manager for Tree San Diego supporting the organization of tree planting events, coordinating volunteers and interns, and developing strategic partnerships. He was drawn towards sustainability and urban greening because of his passion to combat climate change with local communities. James holds a Master's in Sustainability Leadership from Arizona State University.
Ernesto Romo: Director of Maintenance Services for Downtown San Diego Partnership, Clean & Safe Program. He began his journey in 2008 as a maintenance ambassador, supervisor, and director. Ernesto oversees maintenance operations, power washing, special projects, volunteer events, and contractors. Additionally, he also helped launch the Clean & Safe Grow Urban Campaign which aims to replenish the urban canopy in Downtown.
Elektra Fike-Data is the Director of Tree San Diego, a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to increasing the density and sustainability of San Diego's urban forest. Overseeing an expert field team, she leads the organization in implementing projects that bring impactful results and sustainable solutions to the urban environment. Elektra is an EcoDistricts Accredited Professional and holds a Master's in Sustainable Tourism from Arizona State University.