Amherst, NY: At the May 17th Town Board meeting, a vote to seat all members of the newly established Amherst Tree Board was approved. The Town of Amherst Tree Board was designed to study the problems, and determine the needs of the town in connection with its forestry program in order to maintain Tree City USA status. Additionally, the Tree Board will report to the Town Board on tree grant programs, project status, and other urban forestry matters.
Members of the Tree Board include:
Daniel DeLano – former Mayor of the Village of Williamsville
Eric Borenstein – former Williamsville School Board Member and arts management professional Olivia Dann – current Manager of Member Services for the Amherst Chamber of Commerce Barbara Burke – retired University at Buffalo Administrator, accomplished master gardener Kaitlyn Niland – Senior Account Executive for Invue Digital and volunteer with Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper
The mission of the Tree Board is to assist the Town Board and residents of the Town, in the dissemination of news and information regarding the selection, planting, establishment, protection, and maintenance of trees within Town limits. Working together with the Town highway and planning departments, the Tree Board will also work and advise on the development of a Community Forestry Management Plan and an annual work/maintenance plan. As a part of this mission and the board’s dedication to service to the community, the board will organize and conduct education and outreach with regard to the importance of trees, as well as host an Arbor Day celebration each year involving local schools and the community at large.
Previous to the Board being seated, the Town of Amherst received a $60,000 grant to begin a town-wide tree inventory. This grant was made possible by funding from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and recipients were awarded the grant based upon submitted plans for an approved tree inventory and community forestry management plan. The beginning stages of this inventory can be reviewed by accessing the Town website and searching under the projects and initiatives tab. Having completed the first stage of this inventory, in April 2021, the Town received the second phase of grant funding for $75,000 to continue to work toward the completion of the town-wide tree inventory.
Daniel DeLano is the former Mayor of the Village of Williamsville, Delano is an experienced and accomplished musician. Delano also currently serves on the Village of Williamsville Tree Board and was responsible for spearheading the aggressive tree program where thousands of trees were properly planted in Williamsville and helped maintain the village’s Tree City USA status.
Eric Borenstein is a former Williamsville School Board Member and arts management professional, brings his organizational and creative skills to the Tree Board. Serving on the Board of Directors as Treasurer for the Tool Library, Borenstein serves the community through development initiatives like “reTree the District”, as well as participating in workshop series aimed at improved DIY skills for homeowners.
Olivia Dann is the current Manager of Member Services for the Amherst Chamber of Commerce. Dann’s experience in the business community will help facilitate relationships with the local business community and assist in activating community outreach and engagement with regard to the Tree Board mission. A Medaille College graduate, Dann is also a lifelong Amherst resident and is passionate about enhancing environmental sustainability within the town.
Barbara Burke is a retired University at Buffalo Administrator, and an accomplished master gardener and outdoor enthusiast. Having completed several courses at NCCC, Burke holds a current Horticulture Program certificate. Additionally, Burke has a special interest in local habitat restoration, improving the park system and reclaiming local waterways.
Kaitlyn Niland is a Senior Account Executive for Invue Digital, is an experienced marketing manager and business owner of the locally based, Niland Candle Company. Niland possesses strategic and technical skills which will be valued by the Tree Board in implementing new approaches in pursuit of the Board mission.
The remaining two (2) members of the board shall be comprised of the Town Forester and the Town’s Landscape Architect.