2024 Great Tree Summit

Thank you for all who attended the Great Tree Summit!

See you in Covington, KY for the Summit in 2025.

Gathering Friends of our Forests!

Join us for this free educational event for those individuals, communities, and organizations who work towards a shared vision of planting new trees and preserving existing trees so that we all benefit from a healthy tree canopy.

The event includes:

  • Featured tree and forest related talks
  • Local tree initiatives
  • Taking Root Awards presentation
  • Silent auction
  • Vendor exhibits
  • Light refreshments
  • ISA credits
  • OCVN educational credits


Our fantastic talks include:


Forested Riparian Zones, the Key to Healthy Streams and Rivers

Jason Brownknight– Executive Director, Little Miami Conservancy

Description and Bio

Forested Riparian zones are among the most valuable ecosystems on the planet. They improve stream and river health by delivering a range of ecosystem functions including stream bank stabilization, pollutant and sediment buffering, temperature regulation, provision of energy to river food webs and communities, groundwater recharge and provision of corridors and habitat for wildlife. Unfortunately, riparian zones are under severe threat due to historical and current land use activities and biological invasions. The Little Miami Conservancy has been restoring, enhancing, and protecting forested riparian zones along the Little Miami State and National Scenic River for over 56 years.  Join us during the 2024 Taking Root Summit to discuss the importance of riparian zones, threats to these areas, and keys to restoring, protecting, and managing these vital ecosystems.


Jason Brownknight is a professional ecologist and wildlife biologist with over twenty-five years of experience working to restore and protect ecological landscapes across Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. Mr. Brownknight received his Master’s degree in Physical Geography from Ohio University in 2010, with a focus on Landscape Ecology and Biogeography. He received his Bachelor of Arts & Humanities Degree from Shawnee State University with a focus in anthropology and natural history. Mr. Brownknight is also a graduate of the Ohio Watershed Academy offered by The Ohio State University Extension.  Mr. Brownknight began working as the Executive Director for the Little Miami Conservancy during January 2022. 

New Research Urban Forestry

David S. Bienemann – Municipal Arborist/Utility Forester City of Hamilton, Ohio

Description and Bio

Urban Forestry Research in Hamilton, Ohio (Cincinnati Area) discussing climate change impacts to urban trees, monarch conservation and edge habitat with trees, transplant shock growth recovery of trees planted in the last 5 years and Tree Equity using urban site index in the urban forestry.


David Bienemann is currently the Municipal Arborist and Utility Forester for the City of Hamilton, Ohio, where he oversees all aspects of tree management on city properties and rights-of-way, including coordinating the utility line clearance program for the City’s Electric Division. Before joining the City of Hamilton, David served as the Municipal Arborist for the City of Bowling Green, Ohio, and as the Manager of Forestry for Ohio Edison Company in Akron, Ohio. He holds degrees in Forestry from Iowa State and in Labor Economics from the University of Akron. With a long-standing commitment to his field, he has been a member of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) since 1993, earning certification as an ISA Certified Arborist in 2004 and becoming a Tree Risk Assessment Qualified (TRAQ) Arborist in 2018.

Nature Journaling: Observation, Curiosity and Creativity

Lisa Portwood – Artist and Nature Advocate

Description and Bio

Lisa will introduce the group to Nature Journaling by sharing what it is and why you might want to start one.  She will share the benefits of keeping one, show some examples and provide some ideas to help folks get started.  Lisa will also share the simple tools you’ll need.  She will provide some resources for folks to explore after the talk if they want to learn more.


Lisa Portwood is a self-taught artist, an avid birder, and advocate for nature.  She has had a passion for nature and art since she was a child growing up in rural Indiana.  In 2020, when she discovered nature journaling and the work of John Muir Laws, she was thrilled to find something that combined these two things.  Her passion for nature led to her to complete the Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist program in spring of 2022 and achieving certification.  In June of 2023, she was an invited artist and scholarship recipient at the Northern Rockies Nature Journaling Conference in Charlo, Montana.  She is also a member of Audubon Miami Valley, Naturalists with Brushes and the Nature Journal Club.  She seeks to inspire others to appreciate the beauty of nature through curiosity and observing the world around us.  She believes creativity can help people of all ages deepen their connection to the natural world.

Growing Your Own Suburban Woods

Carol Trosset – Author and nature conservationist

Description and Bio

The Trosset family restored an acre of woods in Evendale in the 1960s. It became a rich habitat hosting a large variety of native plants and wildlife. Carol will discuss the ecological and scientific value of this small forest fragment, using 40 years of data collected by her mother. Now retired, she will also tell us how she is going about creating another small woodland at her new home in Woodlawn.


Carol Trosset grew up in the 1960 and 70s studying natural history in the Cincinnati area, before moving away to pursue a social science career studying higher education effectiveness. Throughout her life she has remained active in natural history through field trips, volunteer projects, short courses, and nature travel. In 2021, she returned to Cincinnati where she is continuing her family’s work conserving and studying spring wildflowers. Carol is the author of The Woods: The Natural History of an Acre in Southwestern Ohio (2023, Ohio Biological Survey).

Our generous 2024 sponsor:


Davey logo

Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024
8:00 am-noon

The Benison Events & Coworking
100 S 3rd St, Hamilton, OH 45011

ISA Credits
4.0 OCVN Education Credits

Great Tree Summit Agenda to share
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