At the 2019 PFA Annual Symposium the Association presented its inaugural Mira Lloyd Dock Outstanding Woman Conservationist Award to Rachel Reyna. Rachel is currently the Chief of the Rural and Community Forestry section in the DCNR Bureau of Forestry. Originally from Louisiana, Rachel came to Pennsylvania in 1999 to enroll in a master’s degree program at Penn State. She began working for the Bureau in 2001 and rose to her current position in 2009.
Mira Lloyd Dock (1853-1945) has long received recognition for leading the way as an advocate of forest conservation. She was instrumental in establishing the forestry program at Mt. Alto, she was a driving force in identifying lands that set the foundation for Pennsylvania’s state forests, she was a champion for involving women in forest stewardship, her vision was attained through education, collaboration, and commitment.
Rachel emulates Mira Lloyd Dock as an outstanding force in Pennsylvania forestry. She has championed the stewardship of private and urban forest lands by coordinating the federal Forest Legacy program in Pennsylvania, overseeing grants and partnerships with myriad academic and conservation organizations, maintaining the 29-year relationship with Penn State for the Pennsylvania Forest Stewardship program, and building nationally known urban TreeVitalize and Agroforestry programs. Her work has advanced the innovation and collaboration on woodland stewardship across the state and beyond, serving the forestry profession on a national scale. Rachel is a tremendous example for the current and future men and women of forest conservation.
Mira Lloyd Doc initiated Harrisburg’s City Beautiful program. Under Rachel’s guidance, the urban partnerships she has fostered have trained more than 6,500 Tree Tenders generating more than 17,000 volunteer hours annually in 400+ Pennsylvania cities and communities.
Rachel recently initiated a Pennsylvania-specific Woodland Stewardship Innovation team, pulling from educational, conservation, advocacy, and public organizations across the state with the goal of encouraging private forest landowners to act on well-informed decisions that lead to better care of the forest. Rachel took the lead to create this innovative partnership, pulling together myriad groups to unify the message to move woodland owners towards action, while still acknowledging partner groups for their unique abilities. The collaborative helps landowners find service providers and access resources to care well for their woods.
Rachel is an engaged and active member of the Society of American Foresters (SAF) and has served at local, state, and national levels. Rachel was instrumental in starting the SAF Diversity Ambassadors program, recognizing and facilitating attendance at the national convention for undergraduate and graduate students, especially those not traditionally represented in the forestry community. The program has had great success, and Rachel received a national SAF Diversity Leadership Award for her work. Like Mira Lloyd Dock, Rachel has worked to facilitate the training of a diverse and well-prepared workforce to sustain the conservation of Penn’s Woods.