President & CEO
Dedicated to creating livable and resilient communities using trees, green infrastructure, and sustainable design, Janette Monear is a pioneer in urban forestry. “Economic development in the absence of environmental integrity is not sustainable” is her mantra. Connecting people to the land and creating that sense of place where all people thrive is her mission.
At the onset of her career, Ms. Monear established herself in advertising and promotion for a large bank. She quickly transferred these skills to promote and advance something closer to her heart—urban forestry. At this time, Ms. Monear began work in community forestry for the University of Minnesota as an Anoka County Extension Specialist for Oak Wilt, where she coordinated a statewide effort to preserve trees and promote research. Her extensive work at the university then led her to the nonprofit sector.
She is a frequent speaker at national and local conferences and a leader in organizational development. Her skills were instrumental in helping develop the Saint John’s University Arboretum and other national and local urban forestry organizations. Ms. Monear co-produced, wrote the narration, and edited the PBS documentary Spirit of the Trees. This two-time Telly Award winning series weaves together Native voices, art, and music from 40 indigenous tribes and nations from throughout the United States. She has published several training and professional manuals and reports and her award-winning guidebook, City Trees Sustainability Guidelines and Best Practices, positioned trees as a capital asset and part of a community’s infrastructure. Under Monears’ leadership at the Texas Trees Foundation the State of the Dallas Urban Forest Report and the Dallas Heat Island Mitigation Study provided the impetus for the City of Dallas Climate Action Plan and the Dallas Urban Forestry Master Plan which was unanimously approved by the City Council in May of 2021. Currently, under Monear’s direction the new Dallas Tree Equity Planting Report and Map will provide a roadmap for planting trees to invest in strategic tree planting programs in underserved, hot and unhealthy areas of Dallas. The next endeavor to launch under her direction is the Dallas Green Jobs Workforce Program that will provide training in the fields of urban forestry and arboriculture to support the work being done by the Foundation and partners.
Born in 1947 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Janette spent most of her youth exploring nature at Beaver Park walking upstream in Indian Creek turning over rocks, catching frogs and turtles and observing the natural world. Through her parents, nature enthusiasts, Monear was encouraged to observe the interconnectedness and interdependence of our natural ecosystems which opened her to a world of wonder. Family trips to Northern Minnesota, where she fished with her father and took walks in the woods with her mother further instilled the love of trees and nature. Her work to connect children with nature and leaving our world a better place is a legacy she believes we can, and all should invest in.
Monear has received many national and local awards the latest being the 2017 American Society of Landscape Architects Texas Chapter: Environmental Stewardship Award and the 2020 Audubon Texas Women in Conservation Terry Hershey Award and in 2021 she was named by D Magazine as one of the top 78 Women Who Make Dallas Great.