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Tree Pittsburgh is an urban forestry organization that restores and protects Pittsburgh’s trees through partnership with community volunteers. They serve Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods with planting, education, and maintenance projects, preserving and growing the city’s vital urban forest. Offering classes in tree tending and identification, as well as volunteer opportunities to plant and restore trees, Tree Pittsburgh works with the arc of its Urban Forest Master Plan–a road map for the future of Pittsburgh’s urban forestry–in mind.

Rachel King is PULSE’s current fellow with Tree Pittsburgh, where she serves as a Program Assistant and coordinates tree stewardship activities with Tree Tenders and volunteers. She also plays a central role in the organization’s outreach, acting as an ambassador to communities and encouraging their involvement in Tree Pittsburgh’s work.

Jen Kullgren (pictured above) is Tree Pittsburgh’s Community Forester. She offers technical support to neighborhoods engaged in urban forestry projects and shapes strategies with communities to plant and care for trees.

Olivia Pandolfi: Why did your organization decide to work with PULSE?

Jen Kullgren: We were looking to increase our capacity and PULSE seemed like a good fit. We knew other non-profit organizations that have had former PULSErs and they spoke highly of their fellows and their experience.

OP: What is the most rewarding part of working with PULSE?

JK: Seeing our PULSE fellow grow throughout the position, adapt to a new city and new experiences, and learn more about the work we are doing at Tree Pittsburgh.

OP: How has your partnership with PULSE impacted your organization?

JK: Rachel has done a great job of taking on a project to reach out to past volunteers and Tree Tenders to try to re-engage them. She also wrote a grant to plant a fruit tree orchard in a focused neighborhood and worked with Manchester Academic Charter School (another PULSE nonprofit partner) to plant the trees. Rachel has allowed us to do more work throughout Pittsburgh and has played a vital role in supporting staff when needed. She has helped us move forward on tracking volunteer events and providing follow ups after each event.

OP: What do you like most about your current PULSE fellow and/or other fellows you’ve worked with?

JK: Rachel is very hard-working and thoughtful. She is willing to jump into a new situation and think ahead to anticipate any challenges or opportunities. Rachel has done a great job of fully immersing herself in Tree Pittsburgh to learn more about what we do and she is always active after work with volunteering or becoming involved in something new. She has been a great asset to Tree Pittsburgh and we greatly appreciate all of her hard work.

OP: What would you tell other Pittsburgh nonprofits about PULSE?

JK: I would definitely recommend the program. PULSE is set up to have enough support to run an effective and smooth program. The fellows that I met are passionate and dedicated to positively contributing to Pittsburgh’s community. The PULSE program is helpful with allowing for flexibility and freedom to tailor the position to our needs.

Story by PULSE Associate Olivia Pandolfi.

Check out more great Partner Stories.

This is part of a series of posts about the Nonprofit Partner experience with PULSE. If you would like to learn more about a Nonprofit Partnership, please visit our Partner Page.