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Prospect Park

Andrew Rabb To Lead Urban Park System In Buffalo, New York

Monday, May 3, 2010
No. 29

The NYC Department of Parks & Recreation congratulates former Brooklyn Director of Forestry Andrew Rabb on his appointment as the City of Buffalo’s Deputy Commissioner of Public Works, responsible for Parks, Recreation & Forestry. He began his new position on May 3.

Rabb grew up in Buffalo and, after earning his degree in Forest Biology and Resource Management from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse, he began his career in public service in 2000 as a City Forester in Buffalo. In 2005, he joined the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation as Brooklyn’s Director of Forestry. In the last five years, he has brought renewed energy and innovation to the division. Rabb and his staff of 35 have worked energetically to ensure the care and growth of Brooklyn’s trees. Each day, they inspect and prune trees, remove dead trees, and respond to the public’s insatiable interest in trees.

“Andy Rabb leaves big shoes to fill but we are thrilled that he is returning to his hometown of Buffalo to oversee the city’s park system,” said NYC Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “From stewarding the urban forest on the streets of Brooklyn and in Olmsted and Vaux creations such as Prospect Park and Ocean Parkway to administering classic Olmsted and Vaux parks in Buffalo, Andy will bring a great deal of knowledge and leadership to his new position. Thanks to Andy and his team, Brooklyn is a far greener place and we wish him well in his new pursuit.”

“Over the past five years, it has been a privilege to work with the dedicated staff of Brooklyn Forestry and Maintenance & Operations,” said Andrew Rabb. “Together, we have met the challenges presented by snow and wind storms, new initiatives, special events, and day-to-day tree care. It has also been my pleasure to collaborate with fellow Forestry Directors, and my colleagues at Central Forestry and Capital Projects to develop consistent standards that best preserve and protect trees in construction projects both on the streets as well as inside parks. I look forward to beginning a new career venture in my hometown of Buffalo.”

During his tenure in Brooklyn, Rabb has spearheaded a number of new programs and initiatives. Brooklyn was an original epicenter for the Asian Long Horned Beetle infestation, and Rabb has responded by coordinating inspection and prevention efforts to keep the problem under control. He has helped the borough achieve its MillionTreesNYC planting goals, while also keeping a close eye on the trees we already have.

When large-scale weather emergencies occurred in recent years, including the tornado that affected Bay Ridge and Sunset Park in 2007, and the storms of this past winter, Rabb and his staff worked around the clock to remove fallen limbs and clear trees that fell on cars and homes. Their swift response was recognized by many. Rabb has since worked many long days, bringing the same level of professionalism, efficiency and commitment to his work.
In March of 2010, Rabb was honored with the Thomas Stofka Award. Named for a former Brooklyn forester, it recognizes “Parkies” who have dedicated themselves to New York’s trees and natural areas. Andrew Rabb is not just a career tree man but was Tom Stofka’s immediate successor.

The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation wishes Andrew Rabb well as he begins the next phase of his career, overseeing the parks and open spaces in Buffalo, New York.

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