Each member of our Board of Trustees contributes valuable insight and expertise to Capital Trees. That includes Diane Linderman, who is Managing Director at VHB, and has built a multi-decade career focused on urban planning. Diane has been on our Board for nearly a year, serving on the Projects Committee and involved in the design of our newest project, the green space at Hotchkiss Field & Community Center. Give our interview with Diane a read to learn more about what she wishes more folks knew about Capital Trees, how you can help, and which green space she enjoys visiting on her lunch break.
Q. How long have you been involved with Capital Trees?
A. I am approaching my first anniversary on the Board of Trustees but have been aware of the organization for a while.
Q. What is your position with Capital Trees?
A. I am a member of the Board and serve on the Projects Committee.
Q. Why did you take on that position?
A. I was approached by a couple former Board Members about the opportunity to join the Board. I was impressed by the work that Capital Trees has done and their plans for the future. I believed I could contribute to the future success of the organization.
Q. How have you seen the organization evolve? What have you been most surprised by?
A. I have been surprised by the passion that the staff and other Board Members have to create public landscapes. There is a diversity of Board Members, each member bringing a variety of skill sets focused on implementing new projects, maintaining existing landscapes sustainably, and education.
Q. What Capital Trees contribution or project are you most proud of?
A. I have been working with the Projects committee on the design of the public landscape at Hotchkiss Field & Community Center. It has been an honor to meet with the staff at Hotchkiss and the community members to listen to their recommendations on the design of the space. I am excited about the proposed design and the impact it will have on the community,
Q. Is there a common misconception about the work Capital Trees does?
A. I believe that people know Capital Trees for the planting of the Low Line but don’t realize the investment in its sustainable maintenance activities. Word is spreading that we are more than just a tree planting organization!
Q. What should more people know about Capital Trees?
A. People should know that our focus is on public landscapes and that we want to engage the community to make improvements. We encourage folks to volunteer their time and/or make donations to help Capital Trees implement new projects. The more we can do, the better the quality of life for communities.
Q. What is Capital Trees biggest need?
A. Both financial support and volunteers to help us maintain the public spaces. We continue to partner with the City of Richmond, and now Henrico County, to make Richmond greener. Research has shown that public landscapes foster healthier lifestyles in addition to community enhancement and economic investment. All this takes money and time but is worth the investment!
Q. What are you most looking forward to in the next year?
A. I am looking forward to seeing progress towards creating a great public space at Hotchkiss Field & Community Center. I am excited about the new partnership with Henrico County and the growing partnership with the City of Richmond Parks, Rec, and Community Facilities. We can accomplish even more through public private partnerships so I am looking forward to these strengthening in the coming year.
Q. How do you foresee the organization transforming in the coming years?
A. I see the organization continuing to get recognition for the impact we are making and being invited to support more community efforts. I can envision a larger team to be able to meet the implementation, maintenance, and educational goals of Capital Trees.
Q. What’s your favorite plant/plot/project of Capital Trees?
A. One of my favorite walks is along the Low Line. My office is in Shockoe Bottom and I try to make time for a mid-day walk. I find the variety of the plants and how the display changes with the seasons fascinating!