Six years old, reveling in my ability to break rocks with my bare hands; running barefoot and remembering to avoid the patch of spiky tree fruit; relishing in the rare find of a box turtle, sometimes with red eyes, sometimes with brown: this is the beginning of my conscious connection to the environment. Later I would learn that the rocks are sandstone, the “spiky tree fruit” carries the small seeds of the sweet gum, and the turtle’s eye color is a clue to gender. I made these early encounters and connections with the environment in the rolling ravines of Brown County, Indiana.
Along with over one hundred tree species, I consider myself a native of Indiana who is rooted here. I was born here, and I have no plans to leave a state that, within its borders, holds the tensions of the transitions from western prairie to eastern forest and from glaciated swell and swale in the North to unglaciated ravines in the South.
My interest in the environment continued in college, where I earned a bachelor’s degree in geography from IUPUI. During college, I spent the summers working at a camp in Hoosier National Forest. I then went on to earn a master’s degree in Theological Studies from Christian Theological Seminary.
In 2005 I began working at Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB), Inc. as a community arborist. While at KIB, I became an ISA Certified Arborist. As a community arborist with KIB, I have helped many neighborhoods and community organizations organize successful volunteer tree plantings. In this role, I have been part of planting over 35,000 trees in Marion County.
In early 2011, I created Faris Tree Consulting, LLC. As one of only three Registered Consulting Arborists in Indiana, I find great satisfaction working with clients to find solutions for people and trees.
Here is a link to my curriculum vitae/ resume: Nate’s cv