When Danielle Gift was ten years old and in the fifth grade, she received her first 10 trees from the Arbor Day Foundation. So began her love of trees and the natural environment, a passion that intensified as Danielle grew. While in high school, she was active in the ecology club. At Northern Arizona University, she earned an undergraduate degree in forestry and focused on ecological restoration, inspired by a desire to make a difference in urban areas as cities increasingly encroach on forestlands. This desire to make a difference lead her to continue her studies at Virginia Tech University, where she participated in a Tree Campus USA planting, and where she earned a graduate degree in urban forestry.
Now employed full time as a city forester in New York City, Danielle sees how her life path has been connected by her love of trees. From her first Arbor Day Foundation trees, to Tree Campus USA, to the community forest of New York City. And Danielle Gift loves her work, characterizing it as “better than I had imagined.” Continuing, she shared, “I feel like I’m making a difference.”
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