Many of the folks involved here at Capital Trees have been hard at work behind the scenes for years. That’s certainly the case for Molly Anderson. She’s filled a variety of roles in the eight years she’s been involved with our organization, and we’re glad to shine the spotlight on her and her contributions. Get to know Molly, her role and history with Capital Trees, her take on where we’re headed next, and more! Read her responses to our interview questions below, and if you see her at one of our work days, you’ll know more about the role she has played in getting us to where we are today.
Q. How long have you been involved with Capital Trees?
A. I got involved with CT before joining the Board so about 8 years ago. I was asked to help with the corporate organizational documents in connection with our 501(c)(3) application (to attain nonprofit tax status) and to help negotiate with CSX and the City of Richmond to build the Low Line.
Q. What is your position with Capital Trees?
A. I currently serve as the Board Secretary and previously served as Vice Chair and Chair of the Human Resources and Governance Committees. I am also a member of the Projects Committee.
Q. Why did you take on that position?
A. Our Board Chair asked me to serve as an officer of the Board to provide historical context to the Executive Committee. Kevin (Finto) is a strong leader and I am delighted to help him fulfill our mission.
Q. How have you seen the organization evolve? What have you been most surprised by?
A. When I first joined the board, we had one part-time employee and no real steady volunteers. We have since added two full-time employees and work closely with an independent horticultural expert. In addition, we have begun to develop a robust group of volunteers who donate many hours managing our green spaces.
I am most surprised by how well the Board came together this year and produced a layered and confident Strategic Plan on time to start our new fiscal year.
Q. What Capital Trees contribution or project are you most proud of?
A. I am most proud of the Low Line and love spending the morning helping on clean up days.
Q. Is there a common misconception about the work Capital Trees does?
A. Often people associate us solely with tree planting when in fact we use trees and other plants to create urban green spaces that connect people, enhance the environment, and support community building while contributing to better health for Richmond citizens.
Q. What should more people know about Capital Trees?
A. Capital Trees has become well known for its ability to create and maintain public green spaces and finds itself in the position of being asked to partner or lead a variety of projects in the City. Armed with our Strategic Plan and a project evaluation tool, we are discerning our next directions. So stay tuned!
Q. What is Capital Trees biggest need?
A. One of our largest challenges going forward will be discerning which of the possible projects we are considering will be most transformative for Richmond.
Q. What are you most looking forward to in the next year?
A. Capital Trees will be working hard at developing its expertise in community engagement so that we can truly partner with our neighbors in planning, constructing and maintaining civic green space. Some of these conversations may prove to be difficult but we are committed to working hand in hand with our neighbors.
Q. How do you foresee the organization transforming in the coming years?
A. I think we will continue to expand our volunteer corps into a knowledgeable and enlightened group of people who will become not only supporters of CT, but ambassadors for healthy, sustainable gardening. And we will continue to build and maintain vibrant public green spaces for the benefit of the City and its citizens.
Q. What’s your favorite plant/plot/project of Capital Trees?
A. My favorite plant is sweetbay magnolia; it is a tough and pretty tree that is thriving on the Low Line.