MFI 2022

MFI is an exciting, high-level training opportunity educating professionals in the leadership and managerial aspects of urban forestry. This week-long intensive educational program delivers a challenging opportunity to grow a more successful community tree program. Come learn and master leadership and management tools of program administration, coalition building, strategic thinking, program planning, and public relations by investing a week in your personal growth and development.

Why should you attend?
This is a unique leadership and professional development opportunity you won’t find elsewhere. A team of dedicated urban forestry professionals from across North America will help you gain insights in to how you can move from a good urban forestry program to a great one. You will have the opportunity to learn from and network with urban forestry professionals from large cities and small towns, state and federal agencies, and non-profit organizations. MFI is an investment in your professional future - one that could pay great dividends to you and your city.

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What does MFI Cover?
The Institute curriculum was developed by a team of urban forestry professionals and educators with dozens of years experience in leading urban forestry programs at the local, state, federal, and non-profit levels. There are four major components of the MFI curriculum:

  • Developing A Leadership Approach To Your Position

  • Thinking and Planning Strategically to Advance Urban Forestry Programs

  • Working Effectively with Boards, Coalitions, and Non-Profit Organizations

  • Managing the Relationship Between People and Trees

The curriculum is presented in a variety of formats including lectures, multi-media presentations, panel discussions, group exercises, and real-life scenarios.

Registration Details
The all-inclusive registration investment covers the following:

  • All course materials

Who should attend?
People who plan, manage, and administer urban forestry programs and who want to become more effective leaders and managers. Past MFI classes have included over 500 City Foresters and City Arborists, Urban Foresters, Municipal Arborists, Planners, Tree Wardens, State Urban Forestry Staffs and Municipal Tree Advocates


"The most valuable part of the entire process for me was hearing in some detail the lived experience of folks, whether they were in settings similar to my own or quite different. It was particularly enlightening to learn in more depth about the trials and triumphs of arborists working at city or state levels, dealing with bureaucracies and both public interest and public misperceptions." —Kathy Lawrence, Board Chair, Greater Newburgh Parks Conservancy, MFI 2021

"It was fantastic to reconnect with my MFI friends and to see the familiar faces of the cadre leadership [at the virtual 2021 MFI Day reunion]. Hearing about the leadership journeys of fellow MFI grads was inspiring. I learned so much through the presentations and personal stories. It felt great knowing that there is a family of professionals out there working hard for the people and places they serve. It reminded me why I love this profession." —Miche Palmer, MFI 2020, Street Tree Planting Forester, NYC Parks Forestry, Horticulture & Natural Resources

"MFI felt like a gulp of fresh air when you’ve been underwater just a little too long. I hadn’t known how starved I was for professional camaraderie, companionship, and acceptance. In addition to the peer support—including the encouragement to look for a new job, which I’ve since found and started—one of my favorite things about MFI was learning about the new technologies and practices people were using in their city forestry programs." —Sarah Hagan, MFI 2021

"MFI gives you the opportunity to experience a group of passionate advocates for our environment who have a wealth of knowledge to share. You will either learn new skills or sharpen the tools you already have in your tool box. It will revitalize you and spark new ideas for your work and life goals."—Kateri Savory, MFI 2019, Senior Project Manager for Metropolitan New York City, Davey Resource Group

Organizers and Sponsors
The MFI is a program of the Society of Municipal Arborists, and is organized in cooperation with other groups such as the Southern University and the USDA Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry program.

MFI: What to Expect

Required Institute Pre-Work
Part of the MFI experience involves mandatory readings and online discussions that will be held during August and early September. If you’re accepted into MFI, you’ll need a valid email address and internet access from work or home. Plan on spending about 2 hours a week for 4 weeks on the Institute Pre-Work.

The MFI instructional staff comes with decades of experience in all phases of urban forestry, at the municipal, state, federal, private, and non-profit levels. Most MFI teaching teams have over 100 years combined urban forestry expertise.

MFI 2022 Specific Event Details Coming Soon!

2022 MFI Diversity Mentoring Program