The TreePhilly Team

Lori Hayes, Director of Urban Forestry

Lori Hayes

Director of Urban Forestry

As the leader of Philadelphia’s urban forestry efforts, Lori oversees many projects, including the TreePhilly Program, street tree planting and maintenance, and park tree maintenance. Lori started working for PPR in 1981 and has served a number of roles since then, including Landscape Project Technician, Park District Manager, and North Regional Manager. Lori has a BS in Horticulture from Temple University. She frequently volunteers at events and workshops to educate the public about trees.

Erica Smith Fichman, TreePhilly Program Manager

Erica Smith Fichman

Community Forestry Manager

Erica joined PP&R in 2011 to develop an urban forestry outreach and education program. Working with the Urban Forestry staff, they launched the highly successful TreePhilly Program in 2012, which includes the Yard Tree Giveaway Program, as well as other programs to encourage street tree planting and volunteer tree plantings in parks and recreation centers. Currently she serves as the project team lead for the Philly Tree Plan. Erica has a BS in Biology from Haverford College and an MS in Environmental Horticulture from the University of California, Davis, and she is an ISA Certified Arborist. She also serves on the board of UC Green in West Philadelphia.

Jack Braunstein

Community Initiatives Specialist

With a focus on neighborhood-level community forestry, Jack co-manages TreePhilly’s Community Yard Tree Giveaway Program. His goal is to empower residents to nurture deeper relationships with the land and each other in everyday life. Jack has a B.A. in Geography and a B.S. in Natural Resource Planning from the University of Vermont. He lives in West Philly, loves jazz and likes gardening.

Marisa Wilson

Community Initiatives Specialist

Marisa works to support and organize community members to build capacity for tree planting and care in their neighborhoods. She supported the community engagement process for the Philly Tree Plan in 2020-22, and originally joined the TreePhilly team as a Program Assistant for the Neighborhood Park Tree Inventory Project. Marisa brings with her experience researching community-based climate resilience, organizing around racial and environmental justice, and working in urban planning. She holds a B.S. in Biology and Environmental Social Science from Davidson College.

Kate Illes

Community Initiatives Specialist

Kate is a Community Initiatives Specialist and co-manages TreePhilly’s Community Yard Tree Giveaway Program. She studied English and Gender Studies at Rutgers, then found her way to gardening through mentors, friends and great books. She has expressed her deep love of Philadelphia by caring for public green spaces, tending historic gardens, and coordinating community-lead food sovereignty projects. Now, she’s grateful to share her enthusiasm by helping empower communities to build and maintain thriving, healthy neighborhoods. Kate loves cooking for friends, listening to old music, trying new flavors and swimming.

Raven Arnold-Green

TreePhilly Program Assistant

Raven Arnold-Green, a recent member of TreePhilly, acts as a program assistant in the various programs at Treephilly, working to further the goals of the Philly Tree Plan. Bringing his knowledge in Environmental Anthropology, Raven is an avid lover of the natural world and one day hopes to found a non-profit organization with a focus on Sustainable Community development. A learning enthusiast, Raven has a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Brandeis University.

The Arborists of

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation

The Arborists of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation’s Urban Forestry & Ecosystem Management divisions are charged with the care of the trees on 10,250 acres of park land, and the 117,000 trees along the city streets. These men and women are passionate, hardworking, and proud of the work they do to keep Philadelphia’s trees healthy and its citizens safe. For this project, photographer Sabina Louise Pierce worked with the TreePhilly program to capture the special relationship between Philadelphia Parks & Recreation arborists, the trees they care for, and the tools of their trade.

A Word from the Artist

“When I was asked by TreePhilly
to shoot portraits
of Philadelphia’s Arborists as a freebie,
I said sure!
I love trees,
I love Philly.
Little did I know was how much the people
that worked with them loved them too.
Some have master’s degrees and all could
make more in the private sector
but they do this because they love trees too!”

Sabina Louise Pierce
Lover of trees and nature.