In 2011 Jim McGlone, Urban Forest Conservationist with the Virginia Department of Forestry, created and ran Fairfax County Tree Stewards. It held training courses, member activities, and meetings through 2015 when it became defunct.
In 2022 Brenda Frank, a Fairfax County Master Gardener, and Jeanne Kadet, a Green Spring Master Gardener, formed Fairfax Tree Stewards (FTS). They assembled the first Board of Directors: Brenda Frank, President; Jeanne Kadet, Vice President; Janet Gale (Fairfax County Master Gardener), Treasurer; Martha Orton (former President of Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards), Director; and Joyce Harris (trained as a Tree Steward in the Jim McGlone organization and Fairfax County Master Gardener). One of their early activities was making a logo for FTS.
The first Board of Directors worked diligently to make the organization a viable legal entity. They:
Trees Virginia gave FTS the remainder of the treasury of the defunct Tree Steward organization - $3,023.99.
In September 2022, FTS applied for a Trees Virginia mini-grant for startup expenses. In October 2022, it approved the application for the full amount - $1,184.53.
The first training class began in February 2023. Both the first membership meeting and the first training class were held at Green Spring Gardens.
FTS made a syllabus of 10 classes, including 4 field training sessions and quizzes. See syllabus here. Most classes were held on Zoom using FTS's business account (with a non-profit discount).
The Board worked very hard to recruit the best instructors possible. All instructors were ISA certified arborists, and most were also certified in risk assessment. See instructors here.
Graduation was held in April 2023 at Riverbend Park culminating in a tree id walk led by Natural Resource Manager Casey Pittrizzi. Sugar cookies topped with the FTS logo as an edible image ended the event.