From cycling nut to Heritage Oak

by Jeff Carney
Liberty Utilities
Former TREE Fund Trustee


I first connected with the TREE Fund as a one-day rider in the 1999 Tour des Trees, drawn to the opportunity to cycle with the Tour through National Grid’s service territories. As a utility forester for NG it seemed only natural to recruit a team of my colleagues to ride a day with the Tour, and to advocate for corporate support of the TREE Fund from my employer. The experience forever changed my life, my career and my appreciation for trees.

I’ve since ridden every Tour I could (13 of them, I think. Who’s counting?)  I’ve also proudly served and supported the TREE fund as Liaison to the New England Chapter of ISA and a TREE Fund Trustee.

I’ve spent 39 years actively managing rural, urban and community forests in some capacity, the last 26 as a utility forester. As my career advanced I found my thoughts turning to the legacy I would like to leave behind.

A few years ago I took a critical step to establish the legacy that (until then) I’d only thought about: I named the TREE Fund in my estate plan and became a member of the Heritage Oak Society. With this simple act I’ve helped to ensure that funding for research will always be available, long after I’ve retired as a fundraiser.

It feels good to have that handled. It’s never too early to plan ahead, and now I can focus on what’s really important: training for this year’s Tour.

How would YOU like to be remembered? Visit the Planned Giving page of the TREE Fund website to learn more about the TREE Fund’s Heritage Oak Society, and contact Janet Bornancin for answers to your questions about legacy giving.