Archive for the ‘urban forestry program’ Category

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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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GA Arbor Day Meme.jpg

For Immediate Release…February 8, 2018

Citizens across the state will observe Georgia’s Arbor Day on Thursday and Friday, February 15 and 16, 2018. Special events that celebrate the many benefits of trees will be held in cities including Atlanta, Athens and Woodbine.

“Georgia’s Arbor Day is always held on the third Friday in February, which is in the middle of our planting season,” said Chuck Williams, Director of the Georgia Forestry Commission. “Whether you’re adding trees to your yard, a city park, or any other landscape, you’re doing something important for the environment. Trees are a renewable resource that link us all,” Williams said.

Georgia has earned the distinction of being the #1 state for forestry in the nation. Georgia boasts 24.8 million acres of forestland, with 90 percent of it privately owned. The forest industry has a $35.2 billion impact on Georgia’s economy, with the urban forestry sector adding another $4 billion. Forests in Georgia provide an estimated $37 billion in ecosystem services, including clean air, clean water, and wildlife habitat.

In Atlanta, an Arbor Day event co-hosted by the Georgia Forestry Commission and Georgia Urban Forest Council on Thursday, February 15 at Trees Atlanta will feature a panel discussion with Metro Atlanta mayors and managers. Discussion will focus on collaboration that builds partnerships for the protection of community trees. The Tree City, Tree Line and Tree Campus USA programs will recognize their new and renewing members, and Columbus, Ga. will be honored for its 40th year as a Tree City. Gerald McDowell, Executive Director of Aerotropolis Atlanta Community Improvement District, will be the keynote speaker.

In Athens, a regional tree board roundtable, tree planting, and Tree City USA Awards lunch will be held at Flinchum’s Phoenix. In Woodbine, a tree care seminar at the Woodbine Community Center will cover invasive plants and insects, pruning, hurricane preparation and more.

For more information about Arbor Day events, visit http://www.gatrees.org/resources/events/. For more about the benefits of trees, and services of the Georgia Forestry Commission, visit GaTrees.org.

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For more information, contact: Wendy Burnett 478.751.3535 wburnett@gfc.state.ga.us

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There’s much to look forward to from the Sustainable Community Forestry Program in 2018. We’re starting off the year with a bang in several key program areas.

  • First, efforts to include green infrastructure as a part of development through the Coastal Regional Commission are paying off!! We are meeting our goal to make sure green infrastructure is mentioned in each of the plans for any major developments along the coast.
  • Thirteen new Tree City USA communities and one new Tree Campus USA joined us in 2017, and Georgia Power is again our longest standing Tree Line USA utility. The City of Columbus will celebrate its 40th Anniversary as a Tree City USA in 2018.
  • GFC is a clearinghouse for information related to storms, risk and trees. If you are a city arborist and need community tree resource planning, tree risk evaluation, or homeowner tree care materials, look no further. Attend the Georgia Urban Forest Council’s first quarterly program on January 24th in Richmond Hill for a “ready” packet and current tree risk information.
  • Plans are underway for the first simultaneous statewide Arbor Day celebration on Thursday, February 15, in Atlanta, Athens, Columbus and Woodbine. Local tree board members and elected leaders will be recognized with certificates, photos and news releases for their tree-mendous volunteer efforts.
  • Our quarterly Constant Contact newsletter, Community Tree News, will be published this week and will announce the recertified Tree City USA and Tree Campus USA communities. Don’t forget! Post your local Arbor Day event on the Georgia Grove.
  • Lastly, stay tuned for the release of the new Five-Year Plan for Georgia’s Urban and Community Forest 2018 – 2022 to see where we’re headed in the future and to contribute your own ideas for creating resilient urban ecosystems in all of Georgia’s communities.

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Fall changes hit high gear this past week across the entire north Georgia region and things are progressing rapidly. Georgia’s highest elevations are now past peak, and mid to lower elevations are at, or just past peak, so serious leaf peepers need to be making plans this week!

Northeast Georgia:

This week’s passage of another storm system has resulted in the complete thinning of many of the early turners: the early maples, the yellow poplars, the birches and the sourwoods. However, there are still maples just beginning to turn, and many maples are in full color change showing bright reds, yellows and orange. The hickories are also continuing to provide some excellent yellow and bronze shades, and sweetgums are in full color display with yellows, oranges and even some purples! And the oaks have really started contributing with reds, burgundies, yellows and deep bronze hues. And roadside sumac are displaying some electric shades of bright red this week.

Northwest Georgia:

While the northwest corner of the state normally lags in color change by a week or two, things have also hit full speed in this corner of the state. Maples, sourwoods, and hickories continue to provide some great color and the oaks are beginning to kick it up a notch.  However, as with NE GA, this week’s weather event has thinned out many of the early turners, and fall colors continue to provide showers of color with any wind.

Percentage of color change from green to date:  NE GA 90%-100%  NW GA 90%-100%+

Peak?  Peak is occurring across north Georgia now. Depending on elevation, latitude and aspect, peak may have already occurred or will be another few days getting here. However, this week into next week will likely provide the last opportunities to see widespread color change, though we will still have change occurring into mid/late November.

Scenic drives:

Northeast Georgia – Just about any drive through the mid/lower elevations in NE Georgia should provide some good opportunities. Try old US 123 from Toccoa past Currahee Mountain to the Clarkesville/Cornelia area. From Clarkesville try GA 197 north and then turn back towards Helen on GA 356. And the drive from Cleveland to Dahlonega via GA 115 or some of the more rural country roads connecting the two should provide some good color.

North Central/Northwest Georgia – Good Travel Routes include:

Highway 136 over Lookout Mountain; Highway 27 over Taylors Ridge; Highway 52 Fort Mountain overlooking Grassy Mountain; Highway 136 near Burnt Mountain.

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A week has made a tremendous difference in the amount and vibrancy of leaf color, especially at higher elevations. The cooler weather should help get things moving, as well and we’re in good shape for some excellent viewing in the next few weeks. We are starting see color at virtually all locations across north Georgia, but the best viewing over the next 7 days will continue to be at the higher elevations.

Northeast Georgia:

We are seeing change to some degree in virtually all species, with sourwoods, black gums, dogwoods, sumac and maples providing most of the reds and burgundies. Yellow poplar continues to show bright to golden yellows, and birch, black walnut, alder and the hickories are showing their rich golden hues. Maples are kicking in some yellow and orange, and so is sassafras.

Northwest Georgia:

The same species and colors are beginning to show overall, but the lower elevations are still lagging behind. Things should start picking up across the area in the next couple of weeks.

Percent of color change from green to date:  20%-90%

When’s peak? Elevations above 2500 feet are at peak or will hit within 7 to 10 days. Elevations below 2500’ will likely be a week to 10 days behind, which should give us good viewing into the first couple of weeks in November.

For a scenic drive this weekend…

Northeast Georgia’s highest elevations will provide the best color this weekend. Any trip through the high gaps (Unicoi/GA17, Neels/US 129, Woody/GA 60, Dicks Creek/US 76) will offer some opportunities, and the Richard Russell Scenic Hwy will continue to be a good bet. GA 60 from Blue Ridge to Suches is currently showing great potential. Note that GA 60 between Suches and Dahlonega is currently closed from 8:00-5:00 Monday-Friday for road work but you can connect with GA 180 at Suches to US 129.

North Central/Northwest Georgia –  GA 136 from Talking Rock to Dawsonville offers some good color, while the Lookout Mountain area remains a best bet for that NW corner of the state.

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Orange SAF Patch - no year

A Walk in the Forest for Boy and Girl Scouts, organized by the Society of American Foresters – Chattahoochee Chapter and Stone Mountain Memorial Association, will be held October 21, 2017, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This free event is designed to help Boy Scouts, Webelos and Cadette Girl Scouts meet most of the requirements of the Webelos Elective Adventure: Into the Woods, Forestry Merit Badge or Cadette Trees Badge in one day! Additional Merit Badge and Trees Badge work will be needed to complete the badge.

Scouts are divided into groups with fellow Boy Scouts, Webelos or Cadettes and work with professional foresters at various educational stations to learn about the benefits of trees and forests and the forestry profession.

Educational Stations Include: Tree and Wildlife Identification, Forest Products and Sustainability, Managing a Georgia Forest: Silvicultural Basics, Forest Health, Forest Fire Fighting: Prescribed Burning, Maps and Safety, Urban Forestry, Tree Climbing and Careers in Forestry.

This event is funded by various corporate sponsors and relies heavily on volunteer support from professional foresters, educators, nonprofits and federal, state and local government employees. (SEE LIST BELOW)

A Walk in the Forest for Metro Atlanta Scouts received a prestigious 1st Place National Recognition Award from The House Society of Delegates of the Society of American Foresters, Nov. 2011.

Event Details:

  • Register Here: 2017 Walk in the Forest
  • Event gates open at 8 a.m. but the event does not start until 9 a.m. You may arrive early and register, but please be prepared to wait until the 9 a.m. start time. Coffee/breakfast is not provided and there are no vendors on-site.
  • The Stone Mountain Education Annex is located just outside the west gate entrance to Stone Mountain Park at 6826 James B. Rivers/Memorial Dr., Stone Mountain, GA 30083. You do not need to enter the park.
  • Check-in (8:15 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.)
  • Scouts should register as a part of a troop/pack. A parent can complete the registration form, or a leader can register a whole group at one time. If a Scout wants to attend on their own without the rest of their troop, they will be grouped with another troop, and they must be supervised.
  • All scouts must be accompanied by a Scoutmaster/troop leader/adult to supervise through various stations. Please do not register a Scout without a Leader to accompany them.
  • Clipboards, worksheets and lunch are provided.
  • Lunch includes a deli sandwich, cookie and soft drink and/or water. This is not a peanut-free event. Please bring a picnic blanket and your own seating.
  • Chairs will not be provided at each station but please feel free to bring your own.
  • This event is for Cadette Girl Scouts only. Due to the specific badge work, Daisy, Brownie and Junior Girl Scouts are not eligible.
  • By your group’s registration and attendance at this event, you consent to the use of any photos taken for promotional purposes.
  • Questions? Email: safwalkintheforest@gmail.com
  • The event will be held rain or shine!
  • We will make every allowance possible to make this event handicap accessible.

Boy Scout Forestry Merit Badge work: Each Boy Scout is expected to have read the Forestry Merit Badge (4. a.,b.,c.,d.,e) and (5. a) will not be covered at this event. Contact information can be provided to help fulfill these requirements.

Thanks to our sponsors and our partners:

Society of American Foresters – Chattahoochee Chapter

Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Forest Investment Associates

Georgia Forestry Commission

Downey Trees Inc.

Stone Mountain Memorial Association

Tree ID with Girl Scouts

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In this short video, discover the damaging effects of stormwater runoff and how you can help protect, preserve, and restore Coastal Georgia’s water quality and natural resources.

“Coastal Georgia’s Green Infrastructure & Stormwater Management,” can be viewed here https://vimeo.com/193902038

To learn more, visit:

Ecoscapes Sustainable Land Use Program, UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant

Georgia Forestry Commission

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