People You Should Know: Mark Schneider

IAA would like to help you get to know some of the important people involved in Iowa forestry. The "People You Should Know" feature highlights a person we think you should know if you are interested in the trees of Iowa.
Mark Schneider

Mark Schneider

Executive Director of the Iowa Arboretum

Mark Schneider is the executive director of the Iowa Arboretum. Previous he worked at worked at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, Virginia where he developed the zoo into a zoological garden. He earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Delaware in plant science and a graduate degree in human resource development at George Washington University. He also has a graduate degree in public administration from Old Dominion University in Norfolk.

1) Hello Mark, we know that you are the Director of the Iowa Arboretum but are you involved with trees in another fashion? Any boards or committees? 

I moved to Iowa from Virginia at the end of 2011 and have become totally immersed in the activities of the Iowa Arboretum. I am involved with the Strategic Plan, Development and Master Plan Committees at the arboretum. I am building my network around the state and will become more involved in the future with organizations and issues that are associated with trees.

2) As director of the arboretum do you have any special plans for the future or is there a direction you would like to pursue?  

The vision for the arboretum is to be the premier collection of trees, landscape plants and native ecosystems in the state. The key to accomplishing this vision is to develop a Master Plan that encompasses all aspects of facilty and program development. The arboretum is fortunate to have many people committed to developing a comprehensive plan that meets the future needs of our visitors and the community. I also believe the Iowa Arboretum must be a leader in promoting tree planting, promoting proper tree care and protecting native ecosystems. The arboretum will continue to offering quality educational opportunities and partner with other organizations working with trees.

3) The arboretum calendar usually displays a lot of events year round, are there any that you especially look forward too? 

One of my favorite events of the year is Arbor Day. My motto is “any day you plant a tree is a good day.” On Arbor Day we have a dignitary plant a tree, we schedule tree related activities and events and we give away free trees. Arbor Day is a fun and important day for the arboretum.

4) It looks like you are expanding the exhibit to the other side of the road to the east, what is that going to entail?   

The arboretum manages the 300 acre woodland and a 4 acre prairie to the east of the main 40 acre arboretum. There are walking trails through each area. The woodland area features incredible topography, an oak savanna and a stand of aspen trees. The Master Plan will support the expansion of the trail system along with developing new educational and recreational opportunities for visitors.

5) We ask everybody this question, are there any tree books that you have in your library that you couldn’t do without? 

The first book that comes to mind is Michael A. Dirr’s the Manual of Woody Landscape Plants. The book was a great resource to me when I was in college and has been a part of my resource collection throughout my career.

Mark Schneider - Executive Director  -Iowa Arboretum
1875 Peach Street
Madrid, Iowa 50156