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Stop by Dunwoody’s Brook Run Park on a Thursday evening anytime from late spring through October and you’ll find lots of happy people enjoying a great urban forest. Food Truck Thursdays draw all ages for tasty food and beverages, along with a growing list of amenities that make for a beautiful evening outside.

Last week, my son Max and I strolled the park for the first time in awhile. He remarked about how much the trees had grown and how the foliage had filled in along the walkways and meadows. For those of us who’ve witnessed the transformation of the space – from a deserted public eyesore to a lush beacon of outdoor enjoyment – it’s a joy to see.

It’s also a joy to hear! Not much compares to the squeal of little kids splashing in the shallow fountains or the cheer of bigger kids catching a frisbee. Everywhere people were strolling, riding, jogging, relaxing, eating, swinging, playing, chatting. And I didn’t see one frown. Not one.

So here’s a shout out to all the folks who “get it;” from the city planners who pushed for this, the workers who made it happen and maintain it, to the vendors and all the visitors who receive the benefits – both seen and unseen – from our beautiful urban forest. Let’s keep it growing!

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By Seth Hawkins, Community Forester, Georgia Forestry Commission

We spend a lot of time sharing the benefits of trees, both tangible and inherent. More times than not, however, we are preaching to the choir of fellow tree advocates. Where we can make real progress is finding better ways to communicate those benefits to the average person who sees trees as just another part of the landscape. One powerful way to help people understand and appreciate everything trees do for us is to present those benefits in terms everyone relates to – money!

The suite of i-Tree Software can help summarize the benefits trees provide in real dollar values. This is an excellent communication tool and proof point for documenting often under appreciated ways our community forests work for us. The City of Winterville recently became a Tree City USA community, which truly was a community achievement. Two public hearings were held, both with well over 50 residents in attendance, during which residents, city council members and the mayor discussed ratifying a community tree ordinance. The members of the proposed tree board conducted an i-Tree Canopy survey of the city and came to the public hearings prepared with facts. They documented the city’s tree canopy coverage of 58 percent, which provides the community with $190,460 in annual ecosystem services! When the benefits provided by the city’s canopy were presented in dollar values, it helped convince many residents and council members that proactively managing the city’s trees was a sound investment with an impressive return.

Those hearings and positive feedback from the community resulted in the city council ratifying a tree ordinance and joining the Tree City USA program. The City of Winterville now has an active tree board, a certified arborist on staff, and has hosted two successful community events centered around trees. A city tree inventory was also conducted for a new community tree management plan. This transformation for Winterville happened in less than two years, and a great deal of momentum gained was due to the commitment of several dedicated community members, equipped with knowledge of the city canopy’s value; knowledge obtained through the free and easy-to-use i-Tree Canopy Program. Any municipal arborist or tree board member can learn to use the program and measure the same canopy benefit values for their community. To get started, all you need is a GIS shapefile of your city’s boundaries and to follow the link below. For guidance, contact your Georgia Forestry Commission community forester.

If we can learn to better communicate all the hard work trees do for us, we can reach an audience that values dollars, and makes sense!

Have you seen the recent news?  Study on Urban Tree Loss Puts Georgia At Top Of List

Does your community struggle to understand the contribution trees provide to people every day? Do you need to justify your tree program with cost/benefit analysis? Are you interested in connecting trees to broad sustainability goals? i-Tree can help!

The Georgia Urban Forest Council, in partnership with the Davey Resource Group, the Georgia Forestry Commission, and the US Forest Service will host a workshop at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area in Sandy Springs on Wednesday, June 27, 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. targeting the practical use of the on-line i-Tree benefits calculator tools.

The i-Tree development team has been adding new features to make calculating the value and benefits of trees both efficient and effective. However, the various tool can be overwhelming and industry professionals often don’t have time to wade through all the options to get results. During this 1/2 day workshop, you will gain an understanding of the latest i-Tree tools and how to quickly use this resource to generate tree benefits. Incorporated group discussion will spark ideas on ways to use tree benefit information in various outreach and promotion efforts.

REGISTER HERE. $20 – Lunch included!

7:30 a.m. – Check-in.
8:00 a.m. – Welcome and facilitated discussion
8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. – Davey Resource Group will present on the i-Tree suite of tools. Focus will be placed on web based tools including: Canopy, Design, Planting, and MyTree.
11:30 a.m. – Facilitated discussion
12:00 p.m. – Lunch and networking

*** Bring your personal laptop or tablet computer to maximize workshop experience ***

Workshop sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service, Southern Region. ISA CEUs applied for.

 

The annual hunt is on for America’s greatest tree! The American Grove, an online community of tree enthusiasts, sponsors the Great American Tree Competition (GATC) to find the nation’s most remarkable trees.

The contest is open to everyone, with a submission deadline of June 8 to www.Americangrove.org. To enter, submit a photograph of the tree and a 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 permitted. Nominations will be shared via social media, including Facebook (The Grove), Twitter (@plantyourlegacy; #greatamericantree #GATC18), 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 22, 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 2018 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 winning tree will earn a feature on The American Grove homepage, along with a lasting legacy under the Great American Tree tab to accompany the winners from previous years. Last year’s competition received 30 nominations and 2017’s Great American Tree was the “Pentz Pecan,” a charming hickory in Somerville, TN. 

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 Urban Forest 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.

@plantyourlegacy

#greatamericantree #GATC18

www.AmericanGrove.org

CONTACT:

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

Morgan Garner, Morgan@americangrove.org

 

Here’s the latest edition of the Community Tree News newsletter with information on green infrastructure, watering newly planted trees, eLearn Urban Forestry, Vibrant Cities Lab, upcoming events and a new arboriculture/urban forestry degree program at UGA.

Community Tree News – April 2018 (link to PDF).

Community Tree News April 2018.jpg

 

 

In cooperation with state and local partners, the Georgia Forestry Commission and Georgia Urban Forest Council held 3 simultaneous statewide Arbor Day celebrations on Thursday, February 15, 2018 in Athens, Atlanta and Woodbine. After presentations, mayors’ panel discussions and tree planting demonstrations, Georgia’s tree board members from Tree City USAs, Tree Campus USAs and Tree Line USA were recognized. The event was sponsored by Georgia Power. Here are some of the photos.

Happy #EarthWeek and National Arbor Day on April 27, 2018!

 

We are proud to partner with Georgia College & State University! #TreeCampusUSA #GAarborday

Georgia College Green Initiative

You have probably heard of Arbor Day on many occasions, but have you ever stopped to think about the significance of this tradition or how we observe it on campus? The first official observance in the United States was held on April 10, 1872, in Nebraska; and it is now celebrated nationally on the last Friday in April. However, many states also hold their own observance to coincide with the prime planting dates in their regions, with Georgia holding its Arbor Day on the third Friday in February. Each Arbor Day presents an opportunity to reflect on and recognize the importance of maintaining healthy trees, which provide many benefits including food, oxygen, shade, energy conservation, soil erosion prevention, clean air and water, and many more.

Here at Georgia College, the Grounds Department, the Office of Sustainability, and the Earth Action Team teamed up on February 23 to celebrate Georgia…

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