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Meet the Team

The Community Tree Preservation Division’s Urban Forest Program seeks to enhance Austin’s quality of life by fostering a healthy urban forest for all. This diverse team of professionals supports this mission through partnerships and programming that prioritizes data transparency, equitable engagement, and long-term urban forest and community resiliency. This tree team is responsible for implementingAustin's Urban Forest PlanandCity Code Chapter 6-3 ~ Trees and Vegetation.   

Urban Forest Program Goals:  

  • GROW | Support tree planting and related activities that maintain and increase urban tree canopy. 
  • CARE | Provide up-to-date information to enable people to make responsible decisions related to trees. 
  • INFORM | Support urban forest health by promoting best practices for tree care. 
  • INSPIRE | Foster a lasting culture of stewardship by moving Austinites towards a deeper appreciation of our community’s trees. 

Aimee Aubin | Conservation Program Coordinator 
Aimee is a visual storyteller and group facilitator who joined the Community Tree Program with a nonprofit background. Her work focuses on using creative techniques to unlock potential in individuals, organizations, and communities - a mission that has taken her around the world. With the Community Tree Preservation Division, Aimee blends visual communication and community engagement, with a lens on supporting the next generation of Austin’s forest stewards. 

A graduate of Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, Aimee studied community development through the arts. Born and raised in Long Island, NY,  she now calls Austin home. 
Alan Halter | IT Geospatial Analyst Senior 
Alan is a Certified GIS Professional and cartographer with experience in the forestry.. His love for mapping began while studying geography and urban planning. Today he provides mapping  support to the Community Tree Preservation Division. 
Alan grew up in Houston and graduated with a MS in Community & Regional Planning degree from UT Austin. 

April Rose | Urban Forest Health Coordinator
April develops strategies and partnerships to increase the health and resilience of Austin’s urban forest. She has a background in nonprofit leadership, municipal forestry, and consulting. She served on the Board of the International Society of Arboriculture Texas Chapter and is a Project Learning Tree Facilitator. April believes that trees are critical to our quality of life, to healthy communities, and is dedicated to helping people build personal connections to trees. 
April earned her Bachelor of Science in Forestry from Stephen F. Austin State University. She is a Certified Arborist & Environmental Educator. 

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Emily King | City of Austin's Urban Forester
Emily joined the City of Austin in 2005 and currently serves as the City's Urban Forester. In this capacity, she leads city-wide collaboration efforts to implement Austin’s Urban Forest Plan.  
Emily began her career working for community forestry non-profits in Houston and DC and conducted tree inventories in various cities across the states. She holds a degree in Forest Management from Texas A&M University and is an International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist.   

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Jason Traweek | Environmental Program Coordinator 
Jason coordinates investments in community urban forestry projects.  With 20 years of work in environmental education, project development, and arboriculture, Jason has dedicated his career to ecological preservation and restoration. His current work includes managing grant funding, contract management, and project development for urban forestry initiatives in Austin, Texas.   
Jason grew up in Texas and earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Texas at Austin in Conservation Biology. 

You can email Jason at
Keith Babberney | Forester 
Keith has worked in the field of arboriculture for over 25 years. His work at the City focuses on programs dedicated to urban forest health, introducing children and adults to the wonder of tree climbing, and providing tree care training to City staff and the community. Keith has been a member of the International Society for Arboriculture (ISA) and a Certified Arborist for over twenty years. He is a judge in the annual ISA Tree Climbing Championship, and past Chair of the City’s Urban Forestry Board.  
Keith has earned the ISA’s Municipal Specialist Qualification and is a Board-Certified Master Arborist. 

Leah Haynie | Community Information + Planning Manager
Leah has over 16-years of experience planning, collaborating, and engaging the community in the areas of air quality, urban heat reduction, and green infrastructure systems. She is passionate about civil service and working for the common good. Her personal mission is for transparency in how resources are directed to support the community’s urban forest.  
Leah was born and raised in Austin, Texas. She graduated from Texas State with a Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Planning.   
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Magaly Lopez | Youth Program Specialist 
Magaly Arredondo Lopez is a born and raised Austinite. Her roots extend towards Mexico where her parents were born and where she visited while growing up. Magaly’s curious and restless mind led her to a formal education in Sociology at St. Edward’s University. More informally, she has received her education through family, relationships, friendships, and the intertwining of common interests, goals, and experiences with others. A firm believer in community, interconnectedness, and cultivating accessible resources and experiences in underserved communities, Magaly aims not only to guide and instruct those she serves, but to learn from and grow alongside them, too.
Margaret Valenti | Senior Planner 
A city employee for over 15 years Margaret has served as the Austin Community Tree Program Manager for over 12 years. She joined the Community Tree Preservation Division in the Fall of 2018. Margaret has extensive experience in strategic planning, program management, community education and outreach. She is a champion of all things green.  
She has called Austin home for over 31 years. An avid cyclist and lover of BBQ Margaret can be found riding her bike down tree-lined streets in an effort to build up an appetite in order to eat some well-deserved central Texas BBQ. She holds a Master Degree in Public Policy with a concentration in Technology Policy and Nonprofit Management from the University of Texas Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs. 
You can email Margaret at
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