Georgia Tree Council Award

Excellence in urban forestry award nominations are due to the Georgia Tree Council (GTC) on September 13, 2019 and the Society of Municipal Arborists (SMA) on August 30, 2019.

GTC award categories include marketing, streetscape revitilatation, greenspace plan, new development, new initiative, business, media, civic organization, community, elected/appointed official, education, individual achievement, student, and urban arboriculture. The GTC will recognize award recipients on November 7 at an awards luncheon at the Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Conference Center in Stone Mountain Park.  Complete the GTC nomination form here.

SMA award categories are here. Awards will be presented at the national conference in Cleveland, Ohio on November 19, 2019.

There are many worthy projects in Georgia. Tell us your story. Nominate one today!

Check out our latest newsletter, Community Tree News.


The American Grove, located at http://thegrove.americangrove.org,  is an online community of tree enthusiasts. Since 2010, American Grove has grown to more than 4,500 members, each of whom is passionate about urban forestry and planting trees. The site is supported by a part time administrator who fields customer service requests, produces content, promotes content with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts, and performs basic site maintenance.

American Grove boasts the following statistics since 2010:

  • 4,541 members
  • 3,200 photos
  • 800 blogs posts 
  • 1,900 Twitter, 940 Facebook, 345 Instagram Followers
  • More than 100 trees nominated to the Great American Tree Competition (2015-2019)

A national committee from representative states has been formed to assist in meeting the goals of this project and providing feedback on draft products.

Brief Project Overview

The nonprofit Georgia Tree Council and Georgia Forestry Commission are seeking a consultant to migrate the American Grove website from the Ning platform to a new online, self-sufficient service provider with user-friendly social media capabilities. The successful contractor will also lead a redesign of the website and create opportunities for community member engagement with minimal administrative oversight. We hope to serve all of the current active site users and provide as many functions and services as we can.

Target Audience and Project Goals

The target audience is state and nonprofit tree groups, individuals with basic questions about trees, and the Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) consumer. The goal of the site is to link target audiences with tree professionals, moving the needle of their cognitive understanding of the benefits of trees, to one of action which includes tree planting and care for the trees around homes and in neighborhoods. The site has also become a place for some state agencies to post current urban forestry events and newsletters in a national repository, and communicate technical information with each other, like a listserv.


We hope to boost the user experience by redesigning and streamlining the site. This project requires migrating a variety of content including current members’ profiles, user-generated pages, blog posts, photos, links to technical resources, and our most popular feature known as the Great American Tree Competition. In addition, we would like to restore an original site feature called the Tree Match tool, provide more tree planting and tree care tips for homeowners and link to the Vibrant Cities Lab website. We will write any new copy that is needed and are open to new ideas.

Project Scope of Work and Deliverables

The project includes:

  • Step 1: Platform options and presenting the pros and cons, and associated cost and time requirements.
  • Step 2: Content strategy for the new platform.
  • Step 3: Site and visual design for the new platform.
  • Step 4: Information design such as a sitemap and wireframes.
  • Step 5: Content migration
  • Step 6: Official launch of new site/retirement of original site on Ning platform

Required Proposal Elements

  1. Company profile including names and qualifications of staff who will work on the project.
  2. Preferred options and strategy for addressing the scope of work.
  3. Proposed timeline with key project benchmarks.
  4. Itemized costs.
  5. Examples of similar projects from your company’s portfolio.
  6. References from example projects cited.

Proposal Submittal Details

Proposals are due to the Georgia Tree Council via email no later than 4:00 PM June 30, 2019. Respondents should email Mary Lynne Beckley and copy Susan Granbery (email and other contact info below).

Anticipated Selection Schedule and Project Timeline

The committee will review the proposals and make a selection by July 30. The successful contractor will be notified no later than Friday, August 2.

The platform research (Step 1) should be completed by September 15 so the committee can make a decision about the platform before a national meeting of urban forestry constituents on November 19, 2019. The additional steps must be completed prior to December 31, 2020.

Project Funding

We have $30,000 to spend on the proposal, new platform, and content migration. We will continue to provide funding for administrative support through 2020. Funding for ongoing support and outreach for the consultant after the launch of the site is not available at this time.

Points of Contact for Questions and Proposal Submittal

Susan Granbery, Urban & Community Forestry Coordinator, Georgia Forestry Commission, 6835 James B. Rivers/Memorial Dr. Stone Mountain, GA 30083, sgranbery@gfc.state.ga.us, Cell 478-283-0705

Mary Lynne Beckley, Executive Director, Georgia Tree Council, Inc., P.O. Box 1299, Stone Mountain, GA 30083, marylynne@gatreecouncil.org, 470-210-5900

Great American Tree Competition

Trees work hard for us every day. They give us clean air, cooler temperatures, nourishment and they even mitigate floods. In celebration of trees’ innumerable accomplishments and the benefits they provide,  The American Grove is sponsoring the 5th annual Great American Tree Competition. The American Grove, an online community of tree enthusiasts, promotes the Great American Tree Competition (GATC) every year to commemorate the country’s most remarkable trees.

The contest is open to everyone, with a submission deadline of May 31, 2019 to http://www.Americangrove.org. To enter, submit a photograph of the tree and a brief description of why it is special, along with its location, species and size, including its estimated height and/or diameter. Multiple photos and multiple submissions per person are encouraged. Nominations will be shared via social media, including Facebook (The Grove), Twitter (@plantyourlegacy; #greatamericantree #GATC19), and Instagram (@plantyourlegacy). Nominations may also be submitted as an email attachment to morgan@americangrove.org.

After the submission period has ended, American Grove members will have 10 business days, until June 14, to cast one vote for their favorite entry. The top five vote winning trees will move on to the next round of the competition. An “all-star” urban forestry panel will determine the winner of the 2019 Great American Tree, which will be announced on July 4. The first place winner will receive $500, second place $250, and third place $100. The first-place tree will earn a feature on The American Grove homepage, along with a lasting legacy under the Great American Tree to accompany the winners from previous years. Last year’s competition received 17 nominations and 2018’s Great American Tree was The Lone Hill United Methodist Church National Champion Eastern Redcedar in Coffee County, Georgia.

The American Grove is an online community for sharing experiences and knowledge about trees and the benefits they provide to communities throughout the nation. It is managed by the Georgia Tree Council, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to sustain Georgia’s green legacy by partnering with individuals, organizations and communities in raising awareness about improving and maintaining Georgia’s community forests. Assistance is also given by the Georgia Forestry Commission, which provides leadership, service and education in the protection and conservation of Georgia’s forest resources. Learn more at GATrees.org.


#greatamericantree #GATC19



Susan Granbery, sgranbery@gfc.state.ga.us, 478-283-0705

Morgan Garner, Morgan@americangrove.org

The Georgia Urban Forest Council (GUFC) will meet on May 22 at Zoo Atlanta for an educational program on “The Urban Forests of Utility Corridors.” Georgia EMCs and utility companies are invited!

Thousands of acres of power line rights-of-way offer opportunities to implement meaningful conservation activities. GUFC’s second quarterly educational program will be held on May 22, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Ford Room at Zoo Atlanta and is sponsored by the Georgia Power Company, Northwest Region.  We’ll hear from Georgia Power foresters and arborists about their recycled vegetation use for zoo animals as well as biology and species protection projects such as their butterfly project
and their mapping of gopher tortoise burrows in transmission corridors. A top priority at Georgia Power is to remain compliant with all applicable regulations, including the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, and The Clean Water Act.

The program includes a panel discussion about cultivating relationships; cooperative efforts between municipalities, nonprofits, and utilities (Savannah case study); and dealing with conflict. We’ll also learn about the Energy Saving Trees program, participated in by utility companies and EMCs. Speakers: Mark Wachter, Kym Stephens, Bill Haws, and Jim Ozier of the Georgia Power Company and Robert Seamans, City of Statesboro. See agenda here

Tickets: $40 GUFC member, $55 non-member. Lunch is included. The non-member ticket includes a one-year complimentary individual membership in the Georgia Urban Forest Council.

A limited number of scholarships are available for utility vegetation managers and staff. Download application form here. Scholarship application deadline is May 10 or until class has filled. This scholarship funding is being provided by the Georgia Forestry Commission through a grant from the U.S. Forest Service.

The first 75 people to register receive a free ticket to tour the zoo! CEUs: ISA certified arborist: 3.75, Municipal Specialist: 3.75, BCMA – Management: 3.75. SAF Forestry credits have been applied for. A professional development certificate will be available for landscape architects and others.

Scholarships Available to Georgia Utility Company Staff to attend 2019 Trees & Utilities Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio September 10-12, 2019

Georgia Power is a Tree Line USA
  • Reimbursement of $1,000 toward registration, lodging and airfare for Georgia utility company representatives to attend the 2019 Trees & Utilities National Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • Conference presented by the Utility Arborist Association and the Arbor Day Foundation.
  • Conference dates are September 10-12, 2019.
  • Application deadline: June 30, 2019.
  • Scholarship amount reimburses for conference tuition, lodging, and airfare expenses up to $1,000.
  • Open to Georgia utility company staff.
  • Conference registration must be paid for in advance. If scholarship is awarded, tuition/lodging/airfare expenses will be reimbursed up to $1000 after GUFC receives copies of expense receipts.
  • Application can be downloaded here.
  • Applications should be e-mailed to marylynne@gufc.org (Mary Lynne Beckley, Executive Director, Georgia Urban Forest Council)
  • Applicants will be notified ASAP.
  • Questions? Call Mary Lynne Beckley at 470-210-5900.

Throughout the state, we have celebrated Arbor Day in many different ways. Take a look at the official State of Georgia Arbor Day proclamation by Governor Brian Kemp and celebration photos from the past two weeks.


Check out our latest newsletter! Community Tree News – February 2019

Community Tree News - February 2019