Alamo Forest Partnership Board of Directors

  • OpenReal Estate and Development Sector
  • OpenRegional Council Organization
  • Open –Texas Nursery and Landscape Association
  • Mark Bird (Chairperson) – City of San Antonio- City Arborist
    Lorax Ln and the Birdman
    I am the City Arborist for the City of San Antonio, aka the city’s tall tree hugger. I have been a professional arborist for over 30 years, the last 11 years with the City of San Antonio. As a tree climber, consulting arborist and city arborist I have worked to provide proper care for trees and educate people on the value and benefits of trees in our communities.Everyone thinks because I am the city arborist I spend my days outside just looking at trees. Unfortunately most days are spent in the office working to preserve and plant trees as the City of San Antonio grows. When it is time to get out of the office I am most happy being outdoors. As often as I can I get on my bike and ride as many miles as time will allow. Family adventures often take us to natural areas near and far. Enchanted Rock is a favorite nearby destination and exploring Government Canyon has been fun.When it is time to find inspiration after a tough day I have two favorite books that give me a lift, The Lorax and the Man Who Planted trees. There is nothing like a good Dr. Seuss book to put a smile on your face and keep the fire going.
  • Ross Hosea (Vice-Chairperson)- City of San Antonio- City Forester 
  • Kathleen Blankinship (Secretary) – Member At Large 
  • KathleenI represent Master Naturalists, H-E-B, and the community of San Antonio.    I have been a member of Master Naturalists since 2007, and have been a member of the AFP Board since 2008.  My role on the AFB Board has been as Secretary, and I have been active in writing the by-laws and participating in Arbor Day and other tree-related community events.I grew up in Corpus Christi, spent 10 years in Austin, and have resided for the last 20 years in San Antonio.  I have a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Public Relations from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Master of Arts in Organizational Development and Ecology from The University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio.  I have been with H-E-B   for the last 38 years, serving part of this time in store management for the Corpus Christi, Austin, and San Antonio area, and part of the time in the Information Solutions department as a Change Management leader.    I have one 21-year-old son, Christian.I love all the natural word – water, air, animals, and trees, and my dream is to be active in organizations and causes that help protect what we have, enlarge so we  have more, and educate the public in general on the benefits and beauty of this world we were given to steward.  Trees are particularly close to my heart as they provide air, shelter, food, beauty, and shade to our world.  Learning to care for them properly, protect them, and educate people about them is critical to our future.I enjoy traveling to natural spots, and actually have a powerpoint presentation of places to go and see in all 50 states that I use to plan my itinerary each year.  I currently have two dogs and three cats, and I volunteer regularly for the Wildlife Rehab and Rescue here in San Antonio.  I love to camp, hike, bike, and kayak, and enjoy being outdoors so much more than being indoors.  I love to cook, especially desserts, and am one of the most organized people you will ever meet.  My second dream is to speak and write while traveling and working part-time at all the national and state parks and forests the US has to offer.  My favorite book is “To Kill a Mockingbird”, my favorite movie is “Pride and Prejudice”, and my favorite vacation spot is in a forest by a river with my family and dogs.
  • Stacy Geiger (Treasurer) – Member at Large
  • Mark PetersonRegional Water-Related Organization
    Mark PetersonMark A. Peterson is a conservation project coordinator for San Antonio Water System. With over 30 years of experience as an urban forester (formerly the TFS Regional Community Forester – Alamo Region) and arborist, Mark is probably the only person you know who actually prunes trees for fun. When not expounding on the benefits of trees and limited lawns, you’re likely to find him hiking San Antonio’s wilderness parks or expounding on the virtues of geography and history to his friends. Mark received his degree in forestry from Michigan State University.

 

  • Loretta Van CoppenolleMember at Large 
  • loretta-200x300I have been a tree advocate since at least the mid 1980s when then-Texas Forester Mark Peterson asked that my front yard be the site of the planting of the first tree in what was to be a 10,000 tree planting campaign for the San Antonio area.  I was active in the drafting of the original San Antonio tree ordinance and have written many articles about the benefits of trees.  One of which I am most proud was called “Trees Can Bring Us More  Rain,” which was published in the San Antonio Express News in 2000.I was a member for years of the San Antonio Trees organization.   Later,  well-known tree advocate Richard Alles and I founded the Citizens Tree Coalition.  I have lived in San Antonio most of my life though I spent my earlier years in Philadelphia  and surroundings.  My undergraduate degree is from Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia and my master’s degree is from the University of Texas at San Antonio, where I also taught until my retirement.  I have been a member of the Sierra Club since 1989 and have actively supported many other environmental organizations and causes.It takes no great leap of faith to understand that trees, the most monumental of all life forms, may have the most monumental impact on our lives of any life forms.  The removal of a tree is an act that should not be taken lightly and the planting of a tree is an act of great societal significance.  These things I truly believe.
  •   Tom Brotherman- Texas Master Naturalist
  • Tom BrothermanI am the liaison between the Alamo Area Chapter of Texas Master Naturalist and Alamo Forest Partnership.  Previously I held CPS Energy’s position on the AFP board.  Although still employed by CPS Energy as an Environmental Analyst, one of my coworkers now holds that board position.  I don’t remember what year I joined the board, but it has been a few years now.Most of my life I have lived in San Antonio.   Although I can still see San Antonio from my front door, I have been living in Selma for over 5 years now.  I earned an AS from San Antonio College in Engineering Technology (a degree created for CPS Energy long before I started).  While working for CPS Energy I took advantage of their college tuition reimbursement program and went back to school.  I earned a BSOE from Wayland Baptist University with a specialization in Engineering Technology and a secondary specialization in Science Studies.  It’s the degree that got me where I’m at today.  I’ve been with CPS Energy for over 27 years now.When I’m not filling out forms, or trying to keep the TCEQ, the EPA, and the two engineers I work for all happy, you’re likely to find me geocaching.  You could say I’m addicted to it.  I’ve found geocaches in 47 states and D.C., and all 254 Texas counties.  Before geocaching I used to fish a lot from my kayak.  The fish are happy I got a GPSr.  As Program Director for the Alamo Area Chapter of Texas Master Naturalist I obtain speakers for our monthly chapter meetings.When I’m at home I’m trying to keep happy a wife, 3 adult kids, a grandson, and 4 cats.  The kids and grandson don’t live with us.  The cats don’t seem to have any intention of moving out.
  • Mark KroezeTexas A&M Forest Service 
  • DSCN0675I represent the Texas A&M Forest Service on the AFP board of directors. I have been with AFP since July of 2013. I have been active in coordinating educational events with AFP, with our most popular being the Certified Arborist Prep Course that we host two times a year at the San Antonio Botanical Garden in September and February. One exciting program that we are working on is Tree Buds, which will give instruction on basic tree care operations and have a practical exam at the end. There will be a volunteer component to the program as well. Stay tuned for more information on that program! I grew up near Lake of the Woods, Minnesota at the very northern point of that state. My sisters and I grew up on a large farm and our closest neighbor was over one mile away! I like to say that we had the biggest backyard in America, because the closest road or city to the south of our farm was over 100 miles away. We had wolves and moose and lots of deer. I got interested in forestry when my father would bring outside on walks and he would tell me the names of the various trees in the forest. I attended a community college, in Ely Minnesota for one year. If you know about Ely, you would know that it is in the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness, which is over 1 million acres of woods, lakes, and rivers and absolutely no development of any kind. That summer after Ely, I was fortunate to be able to take a canoe trip from Lake of the Woods to Hudson Bay. That was the trip of a lifetime.I graduated from the University of Minnesota with degrees in Natural Resources and Forestry. Each summer I would carve out time for one long distance bike tour. The first one was from Lake of the Woods to Galveston, Texas. The second was from Tijuana, Mexico to Portland, Oregon. The third was from St. Paul, Minnesota to Boston, Massachusetts through Canada. I worked for the City of Minneapolis Forestry Department after graduation. In 2008 I worked as an Arborist for a private company in Auckland, New Zealand. We were responsible for monitoring construction around trees. My favorite memories are learning to climb large Eucalyptus trees in Auckland and being up high swinging from branch to branch. I always say the best way to experience a tree is 100 feet up!After Auckland, I was the first City Forester for McAllen, Texas. That was truly a dream job at that point in my career and getting to work with my colleagues and employees at the City of McAllen are special memories. One year we won the top Arbor Day in Texas with our Arbor Day Challenge, which had over 700 people running, biking, and exercising to support trees in McAllen. One tree planting project that I am still amazed at today was watching Tepeguaje trees grow almost one foot per month! We planted seedlings in 2012 and going back today it is now a miniature forest.I have been working with the Texas A&M Forest Service since July of 2013 and it truly is a dream job to get to assist communities and organizations all over South and Central Texas learn more about taking care of their most important natural resource- Trees! I am a Certified Forester, Certified Arborist and Municipal Specialist and attended the Municipal Forestry Institute in 2013. About my personal life- You might find us floating down the river or riding a bicycle in the hill country. My partner and I love to vacation in the Florida Keys. I am currently working on getting a Master’s of Science in Forestry from Mississippi State University.
  •  Liza Meyer – Fiduciary Organization Keep San Antonio Beautiful
    Liza MeyerLiza Meyer graduated with a degree in Political Science from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 1995.   In 1997, she earned a Masters in Public Administration from St. Mary’s University; while earning her degree she was the recipient of the United States Housing and Urban Development “Community Management” fellowship.  Her tenure at the City of Austin and the City of San Antonio has provided her a diverse background in sustainability including air quality policy, community improvement programs through neighborhood projects and education campaigns to empower residents to improve their community’s environment, corporate environmental responsibility initiatives and environmental policy.  Liza’s passion for a sustainable community has her serving as Vice-President of AFP’s Fiduciary Beautify San Antonio Association.  Her passion for trees was rooted from her childhood enjoying tree climbing and picnics under the tree canopy.  You will find her on weekends enjoying the urban forest at McAllister Park and sometimes still climbing a tree with her sons Preston (7) and Stephen (8).
  • Chris ChambersMember at Large
    Chris Chambers
    I am a member-at-large and past vice-chair of Alamo Forest Partnership.  I represent the San Antonio District of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) where I have been a District Landscape Architect since 1988.  I have been on the board of Alamo Forest Partnership since 2006. I grew up in Sherman, Tx, went to college at Texas A&M University and spent several more years in College Station, then went to work in Amarillo for TxDOT and spent the next seventeen years there, and finally moved to San Antonio with TxDOT in 2005.  I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Floriculture (Ornamental Horticulture) and a Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape Architecture from Texas A&M University.  I have been a Registered Landscape Architect in the State of Texas since 1986.
    Trees are important in my job because they give a human scale to large freeways, block distracting visual clutter, adsorb pollutants in the air, take in automobile emissions and give off oxygen, and filter runoff from the freeways and slow it down to prevent erosion.  Trees are important to me personally as a symbol of strength, as a marker for sense of place, as reminders of past events, and as providers of comfort for every-day living.  I believe that it is too easy to take our urban forest for granted and assume that it will always be there, that it needs no care or protection, and that it is someone else’s concern.  My involvement with Alamo Forest Partnership is my chance to voice a concern for the vulnerability of our urban forest, and to work towards increasing its density through education, advocacy, and partnering.I love nature and architecture, and am happiest where I can be near both.  One of my favorite places is Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water in Pennsylvania, another is the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, Arizona, and of course, the river walk in San Antonio.  I am obsessed with working in my own garden, love to be near water, and am a great admirer of dogs and birds.
  • David VaughanSan Antonio Arborist Association
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  • Elizabeth CarolCity of Leon Valley
    Elizabeth CarolElizabeth Carol joined the City of Leon Valley as Direcotor of Community Development in March of 2015. She has over 23 years of experience in urban planning and development. She began her career in the City of San Antonio, and as a Principle Planner she has extensive expereince in working with Long Range Master Plans, both large and small projects and urban renewal developments. In addition, she has worked with the Metropolitian Planning Organziation and the Alamo Area Council of Government. Ms. Carol, also has over ten years of teaching experience at Northwest Vista College.  In 2010 she became a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. She is a graduate of South West Texas State University with a Bachelor’s of Arts and a Masters in Geography – Environmental Management. She is also working towards earning her ISA Certified Arborist and Floodplain Manager Certificate.On behalf of Leon Valley Ms. Carol staffs the Board of Adjustment, Community Events Committee, Tree Advisory Board, and the Zoning Commission. Ms. Carol is also charged with Overseeing the Community Development Department, updating the Master Plan and the Fourth of July and Fall Music Festival. In her free time, Ms. Carol is training for the next half marathon, enjoys reading and spending time with family.
  • Rob DeRocherTexas A&M Agrilife Extension
  • Beth Lettman – CPS Energy
  • Wayne TrammellCity of Live Oak
  • Lisa NixonMember at Large

Alamo Forest Partnership | c/o Mark Bird | Cliff Morton Development and Business Services Center | 1901 S Alamo St | San Antonio TX 78204 | (210) 207-0278