Monday, February 27, 2023

Chesapeake Bay Foundation Names Joe Hallinan New Manager, Erin Via Logistics Specialist For PA-Wide Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership

On February 27, the
Chesapeake Bay Foundation named Joe Hallinan as the new manager of the statewide Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership, and Erin Via as the partnership’s tree logistics specialist.

Hallinan recently joined CBF and succeeds Brenda Sieglitz, who for four years led the collaborative tree-planting partnership coordinated by CBF. Its goal is to plant 10 million trees for Pennsylvania by the end of 2025. 

In October, the partnership reached its mid-point milestone, planting its 5 millionth tree.

Working and living in Gettysburg, Hallinan helped create the Adams County Planting Partnership  through the collaboration of individuals, schools and organizations. Previously, he was programs coordinator at the Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve in Fairfield, Pa.

Hallinan grew up in Southcentral Pennsylvania spending most of his summer days in Tom’s Creek in Adams County, which flows into the Monocacy and Potomac rivers and then the Chesapeake Bay. 

For the past five years, he was the watershed specialist at the Adams County Conservation District where he focused on watershed related projects and community outreach.

“Trees are a common denominator to all things. They filter nutrients, sequester carbon, provide habitats, and make oxygen,” Hallinan said. “What we often don’t think about is the positive effects that trees have on a community, economy, and the physical and mental health of our residents. Students learn better, patients heal faster, and our minds are less anxious when we have access to outdoor green space.”

“Joe’s background as a watershed specialist at Adams County and passion for the outdoors will make for a valuable addition to our team,” said Trisha Salvia, CBF’s interim director in Pennsylvania. “He has a proven reputation for connecting communities and partners with trees and we cannot wait to start the spring planting season with Joe as our lead.”

Since it launched in 2018, the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership has grown to over 260 partners. The partnership plans to directly fund and plant at least 518,000 more trees for Pennsylvania in 2023.

Via is a Lancaster native who studied at Kutztown University and remotely with Southern New Hampshire University, focusing on Natural Resources and Conservation. 

As tree logistics specialist, she works directly with partners, landowners and nurseries to formulate a plan to distribute trees each season. She also ensures that warehouse locations are operating smoothly during supply distribution times and assists in the field during tree plantings.

“I look forward to leading conversations with partners and landowners, getting to know them and learning more about how they will be utilizing the trees we provide, as well as getting outside in the sunshine and planting trees as often as possible,” Via said.

“Erin came to K10 last fall from a healthcare background and has been an important part of our tree distribution program for Spring 2023 – our largest to date,” Sieglitz said of Via. “She will work with Joe and our seasonal staff in 2023 to make sure over 500,000 trees are distributed and planted amongst over 260 partners.”

For more on Chesapeake Bay-related issues in Pennsylvania, visit the Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA webpage.  Click Here to sign up for Pennsylvania updates (bottom of left column).  Click Here to support their work.

Also visit the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership to learn how you can help clean water grow on trees.

CBF has over 275,000 members in Bay Watershed.

How Clean Is Your Stream?

Check DEP’s 2022 Water Quality Report to find out how clean streams are near you.

(Photos: Joe Hallinan and Erin Via)

[Posted: February 27, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

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