Latest On The Conservation Gateway

A well-managed and operational Conservation Gateway is in our future! Marketing, Conservation, and Science have partnered on a plan to rebuild the Gateway into the organization’s enterprise content management system (AEM), with a planned launch of a minimal viable product in late 2024. If you’re interested in learning more about the project, reach out to for more info!

Who We Are


Rachel Holmes

Rachel Holmes coordinates the Healthy Trees, Healthy Cities (HTHC) urban tree health monitoring national initiative, among other urban forestry efforts touching down in the Conservancy's North America Cities Network. The HTHC initiative is coordinated through partnership with the USDA Forest Service (USFS), and in support of local organizations representing diverse constituents. Through this initiative, the Conservancy connects to tree enthusiasts of all walks of life, and activates communities to care for the trees in their own neighborhoods. The indispensability of these "civic ecologists" and stewards necessitated the development of a tree health monitoring smart phone application available on iOS and Android devices, which Rachel oversees, in partnership with the USFS and University of Georgia.

Workforce development is a critical mission area for the Conservancy's urban forestry work. As such, Rachel established a tree health monitoring internship program for young adults in 2014, and is currently developing a pre-apprenticeship program centered on both public health and urban conservation skills for underemployed populations in the South Side of Chicago, in partnership with the American Heart Association and others. Particularly passionate about building strategic partnerships with faith communities, Rachel co-developed an urban landscape evaluation methodology with the Center for Interfaith Relations (in Louisville, KY) called the Landscape Audit for Sacred Spaces which is being prepared for national expansion.

Committed to supporting national urban forest policy, Rachel represents the Conservancy on the Sustainable Urban Forest Coalition. She is currently the Coalition's Strategic Engagement and Outreach Work Group co-chair and serves on the Steering Committee. Prior to joining the Conservancy, Rachel served as an urban forester and Volunteer Coordinator for the State of Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and led urban forestry workforce development programming for Groundwork Bridgeport in Connecticut. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Science from Rutgers University, a Master of Divinity from the Yale Divinity School and a Master of Forestry from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. In her "spare time," Rachel is a Type II Wildland Firefighter and a professional Flamenco dancer in the tri-state area.