Rising to the Challenge

Leaving a Legacy
Tree Campus USA

Eric Stabasefski’s passion for trees led him to become a volunteer leader with TreesCharlotte

Eric Stabasefski attended his first TreesCharlotte event last fall and was immediately hooked. After volunteering at the organization’s citywide free TreeStore in November, Stabasefski began signing up for additional events and has since earned TreeMaster Leadership status, meaning he’s now certified to help guide planting and stewardship projects.

“Trees are the definition of perseverance and determination.”

Stabasefski was an easy sell: A native of Cornelius, he earned his bachelor’s degree in horticulture science from in 2013 and his master’s degree in landscape architecture in 2015, both from NC State University.

“Trees are the definition of perseverance and determination,” he says. “They take what they’re given and do the absolute best with what’s in front of them. They refuse to lose, which is why I love them.”

A risk architect with insurance agency JJ Wade & Associates, Stabasefski lives in Davidson and has been an active participant in TreesCharlotte’s NeighborWoods and TreeDay plantings as well as its stewardship events, during which volunteers revisit planting sites to provide maintenance and care to existing trees.

“It’s a great organization with a mission that I think is extremely important, and the events are a lot of fun,” he says.

Last year Stabasefski also worked with TreesDavidson, a Davidson Lands Conservancy program, to facilitate a tree planting on Jackson Street in downtown Davidson. Through his participation in Leadership Lake Norman, Stabasefski was able to help provide a group of volunteers and funding for the planting, and he’s working with the organization to plan two more events later this year.

For more information about becoming a TreeMaster, visit TreesCharlotte.org/ volunteer/treemaster.