Meridith McAvoy Perkins

Meridith McAvoy Perkins

Executive Director

Forest ReLeaf of Missouri

St. Louis, MO USA

When you feel overwhelmed or need inspiration, go for a walk among the trees.


By Roadtrip Nation

Meridith McAvoy Perkins


My road in life has been direct.
While none of my family had any background in nature, I could tell growing up that I felt happier and more grounded at the nearby park.
In high school, I started getting more involved with science and nature by taking biology classes and joining the environmental club.
When I got to college, I didn’t want to keep taking biology but I was interested in learning more about trees, so I decided to major in forestry.
After college, I consciously shaped my career toward urban forestry because I knew I preferred the community of a city over rural life.
I started my career in urban forestry consulting, doing tree inventories across the region I was in.
I moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, and ran the urban forestry program for the Utah Department of Natural Resources for about 10 years.
I eventually decided to move my family back home to St. Louis, Missouri, and used my professional network to get back into consulting.
After six years doing management plans and upper level consulting for municipal government, I took on the role of executive director at Forest ReLeaf.
Keep following my journey


High School
University of Missouri-Columbia
Certified Arborist Municipal Specialist
International Society of Arboriculture


Executive Director

I advocate for tree planting and forest conservation across the urban, rural, and wild landscapes.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Environment & Nature
Non-Profit Organizations
Upholding a Cause and Belief

Day to Day

My job connects people with trees. Every day looks different. In one week, I may be teaching school groups why and how to plant trees, explaining the value and benefits to potential funders, supporting my team with trainings and meetings, working at our tree nursery with volunteers, and running the business side of operations.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

There are so many pathways to enter into the field of urban forestry. 20 years ago, forestry was the logical place to start. Now we know the skill set for professionals in the field can be found in diverse programs like environmental science, planning, community development, horticulture, etc. No one way is best.


The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"I don't know how to do this. I've never done this before. I don't have enough experience."