Tyler Van Fleet

Tyler Van Fleet

East of Hudson Forestry Program Coordinator

On a typical workday, I lead students on a tour of a drinking water reservoir and surrounding forest, recommend watershed forestry teaching materials to teachers, plan a teacher training event, and end my day discussing an landowner’s stewardship goals with my coworkers.

Where were you born and raised?
I was born and raised in coastal Maine - but I’m not a sailor! I was raised a landlubber and agrew up hiking, camping, biking, and canoeing.

What is your educational background?
I studied biology and anthropology at The George Washington University in Washington, DC. After graduating, I did ecology research in the Colorado Rockies and Arizona desert before returning east to work as a community gardener in New York City. I earned my Masters of Science in Environmental Conservation at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where I researched family forest owners’ awareness of conservation options for their land. This project opened my eyes to how important family forest owners are in deciding the future of our forests.

Briefly describe your home life.
I live in New Paltz in the Walkill River watershed. I own a small wooded property where I garden, birdwatch, and control invasive plants with my husband and 2 little kids.

How long have you worked for WAC and what office do you work from?
I began working as the WAC Watershed Educator in February, 2014. In 2020 I was promoted to East of Hudson Forestry Program Coordinator. I work out of our Yorktown Heights office in the Croton watershed, but I also do a lot of my work in New York City.

What is your job at WAC? Briefly describe your typical day.
I oversee Forestry Program activities in the Croton watershed region, which includes forest landowner outreach and education, supporting sustainable logging and running our school-based education programs.  We teach teachers and students about the NYC Watershed and how healthy forests are essential to water quality protection. On a typical workday, I lead students on a tour of a drinking water reservoir and surrounding forest, recommend watershed forestry teaching materials to teachers, plan a teacher training event, and end my day discussing an landowner’s stewardship goals with my coworkers.

What are your favorite MWL Interests?
My favorite MyWoodlot Interest is Leaving a Legacy. These resources help family forest owners navigate the complex world of conservation-based estate planning by starting with simple activities. My Woodlot does a great job breaking down big decisions into small steps in order to help landowners move forward in the direction they want.

What are your favorite MWL Activities?
Walk My Land with My Family
Read Other Landowners’ Experiences with Legacy Planning
Discover Options for Leaving a Legacy

Describe your favorite experience in the woods.
In May 2015, 3rd and 4th grade pen pals from Brooklyn and Windham Ashland Jewett Central School summited Windham Mountain together in the Catskills as part of our Green Connections program. Seeing the country and city kids run together through fields, skip down forest roads, and gaze in wonder at green mountains was a thrilling moment. They were astounded, energized and smiling from ear to ear, reinforcing in me the importance of helping all kids get into nature so they can feel the joy of being connected to our big, beautiful, living world.