Lincoln arborist leads women into trees

LINCOLN’S BEAR LEVANGIE will demonstrate proper tree climbing for arborists in a show to be broadcast May 14 on WCAX-TV. LeVangie is a founder of the Women’s Tree Climbing Workshop organization.

As spring blooms and millions of trees across the country turn from bare to budding, most people focus on the promise of warmer days, rather than the spectacular show transpiring in the tree tops.

But not Lincoln arborist Bear LeVangie.

LeVangie has made it her life’s work to study trees and be a proud steward of their health and longevity in her own Lincoln community and beyond.

“If you are breathing, then thank a tree,” LeVangie said. “Quite simply, without trees, humans cannot live on this planet.”

Always happiest playing outdoors while growing up in Barre, Mass., Bear and twin sister Melissa both discovered their dream jobs were in arboriculture. But after realizing that training opportunities for female arborists were far and few, they founded the Women’s Tree Climbing Workshop, or WTCW, a national female-led organization dedicated to creating a safe and empowering learning environment for women to climb trees. To date, the organization has taught more than 700 women how a climbing arborist works, safe climbing techniques and responsible tree care.

The LeVangies recently partnered with The TurfMutt Foundation, an organization that encourages outdoor learning experiences, stewardship of green spaces and care for living landscapes to showcase these outdoor career possibilities for young women for a segment on the CBS series “Mission Unstoppable,” which will be broadcast on Saturday, May 14, at 11 a.m. on WCAX-TV/CBS.

The award-winning show, which spotlights diverse females in unique STEM professions, will feature the sisters demonstrating how to safely climb, descend and use power tools to properly prune trees.

“Most people still don’t understand the importance of trees,” says LeVangie. “For oxygen, shade, habitat, property values, overall well-being, and the list goes on. If trees provided Wi-Fi, we would be planting them everywhere. But they only give us the air that we breathe.”

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