“I joke that my colleagues work with greening and I work with the people,” says Bunny McFadden, Ed.D., Community Workforce Development Director for Friends of the Urban Forest. “Working with people requires putting relationship-building up front, whether you're helping someone get their foot in the door or a shovel in the ground to plant some trees.”
With over ten years of experience in education and workforce development and a doctorate in education from the University of South Carolina, Bunny oversees our workforce development programs, which offer youth and adults the opportunity to steward the urban landscape while developing job skills to thrive in their careers. She sees burgeoning opportunities on the horizon for ecology-based jobs.
Our Green Teens program is a paid urban forestry vocational skills training program that provides opportunity and mentorship to San Francisco youth, ages 14-19, who are interested in pursuing careers in the environmental field. We have worked with over 900 youth since the program started in 1995.
Our Green Crew program, which began in 2016, is a paid urban forestry job for adults. Green Crew members are an essential part of our urban greening activities, from tree care to planting and beyond. We provide them with urban forestry skills training, professional development, and networking opportunities.
“When I entered the education field, it was almost exclusively focused on STEM, college, and what they call white-collar work, so a lot of my students felt like they were falling through gaps,” Bunny says. “There wasn't a place for them or their aspirations. That stayed with me. Not everyone wants to work in a chilly office typing at a computer!”