August 2, 2007 in Voices

New city forester takes root in Post Falls

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Jesse Tinsley photo

Angel Spell is the new urban forester for the city of Post Falls.
(Full-size photo)

The Spell file

Home state: Montana

Education: Bachelor’s in biological sciences, University of Colorado (1994). Master’s in enviromental policy and management, University of Denver (2001).

Previous jobs: Urban forester in Hayden, agricultural commodity grader in Yakima and arborist for Grace tree and forestry in Hayden.

Quote: “I’ve been very focused on coming to the position I’m in now. I couldn’t be more pleased and excited about it.”

Contact information: Call Spell between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays at 773-8147, or send her e-mail at aspell@postfallsidaho.org.

POST FALLS – The trees in Post Falls are in nurturing hands again. The city has tapped Angel Spell as its new city forester.

She replaces Linden Lampman who after seven years in the post resigned in May to take work with the Seattle Department of Transportation.

Spell, 37, reported for work in mid-July. She said she plans to continue Lampman’s legacy, which helped the city attain Tree City USA status.

She’s responsible for trees in 24 city parks, spanning 413 acres. She also cares for more than 4,000 trees lining city streets, provides public education, oversees an annual free tree giveaway and reviews tree plantings in the city’s new housing developments.

She is a one-woman department and reports to the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.

Spell thinks most of us take trees for granted. But if you stop to think about them, she said, they provide innumerable benefits.

“I think trees contribute so much to our lives,” said Spell, a Montana native who spent her formative years in the outdoor recreation Mecca of Colorado.

“Trees give a community an identity architecturally. Neighborhoods and properties are much more attractive with trees, which add aesthetic value and property value,” she said. “With that is the cooling effect from shade and the fact that trees will treat pollutants in water and air.

The leafy giants have a soothing effect, too.

“Trees provide comfort for people. It’s a stress reliever to go out to a park, sit under a tree and have a picnic with your family,” Spell said. She also hopes to grow her department’s emphasis on outreach and education.

“The more we can touch people, the more valuable we’ll be in terms of health and longevity of the urban forest,” she said.

Spell wants people to know they can count on her to be a community resource. She’s available to work with scouting groups, put on classes and to assist residents who have questions or difficulties with the trees on their personal property.

“If they have questions about the trees in their yards, their neighborhoods or the city, I want them to call me,” she said.


Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email