Task Force Update

Meet the new West Michigan HWA Project Coordinator!

Daria Gosztyla joins Ottawa Conservation District as the new Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) Project Coordinator working under the recently obtained HWA GLRI Grant.

Daria has been working to coordinate the surveying, treatment, and monitoring activities for areas with known HWA infestations and identified high-risk sites. She is also working with forestry professionals and task force partners to conduct public outreach events and homeowner outreach regarding HWA and its effects on the West Michigan Region.

HWA landowner site visits in Grand Haven

Daria works to facilitate a culture where active data management guides decisions, raises awareness of local natural resources and encourages others to get involved with helping to sustain our forests. “As the HWA Project Coordinator I get the best of both worlds– I spend a lot of time among nature, I evaluate data on the hemlock trees our crews visit, and I get to have meaningful interactions with the community I serve.”

HWA landowner site visits in Norton Shores

Since joining the Ottawa Conservation District this fall, Daria has meet with numerous landowners throughout West Michigan’s shoreline, conducted HWA site visits, facilitated service-learning projects with high schoolers and presented on the progress of the GLRI project.

 

Ottawa ISD students learning how to identify hemlock trees and about the effects of HWA 

Prior to working at the Ottawa Conservation District, Daria was the Urban Forest Project Coordinator with Friends of Grand Rapids Parks where she led a Citizen Forester program and worked with communities throughout Grand Rapids to re-plant and maintain thousands of trees following the emerald ash borer epidemic. Daria is committed to working to maintain functional, resilient, and vibrant forests throughout Michigan. Daria earned a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources Management from Grand Valley State University, and has spent over 6 years working in nonprofit and government sectors.

Welcome to the Task Force, Daria!

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