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Rockville’s Forestry Inspector Talks Environments With Middle School Class

Following a handwritten invitation from a Silver Spring International Middle School student, Natasha Shangold, the City of Rockville’s forestry inspector, found herself in front of Delia Dunlap’s eighth-period Model United Nations class, where she discussed invasive species and the importance of local ecosystems.

The first-day-of-spring visit was sparked by a letter from a student named Gracyn, who was encouraged by Dunlap to reach out to professionals in the field after a class discussion on environmental threats. Gracyn’s invitation landed on Shangold’s desk in the Department of Community Planning and Development Services.

“I immediately handwrote her back and then emailed her teacher that I would love to visit and speak to her class,” Shangold said. During her visit, Shangold discussed her work and took the students on an educational walk to a nearby forest alongside a creek, where she demonstrated how to identify various trees and pointed out invasive plants that threaten local vegetation.

“The students asked great questions (and a couple of funny ones),” Shangold said of the visit. “Afterwards, I thanked Ms. Dunlap and notified her that I would love to come back again.”

Discover more about Rockville’s forest and tree preservation at

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