Drinking Their Trees: Forest Landowner Conservation Awareness in the NYC Watershed
Tyler Van Fleet
Forestry Program Watershed Educator, Watershed Agricultural Council
Tyler Van Fleet is the Forestry Program Watershed Educator at the Watershed Agricultural Council (WAC), a not-for-profit that helps protect New York City’s water supply at its source by promoting the economic viability of agriculture and forestry, the protection of water quality, and the conservation of working landscapes in the NYC Watershed. The Forestry Program is using the Conservation Awareness Index (CAI), which Tyler helped develop as a graduate student at UMass-Amherst, to evaluate landowners’ preparedness to make conservation-based decisions about their woods, which supply clean drinking water for over half the population of New York state. In addition to supporting landowner outreach efforts, Tyler runs a suite of school-based education programs that teach students and teachers about New York City’s forest-filtered water supply through field trips, trainings and urban/rural partnerships.