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Posts Tagged ‘Tree City USA’

Check out our latest newsletter, Community Tree News.

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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.

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

Community Tree News - February 2019

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Here’s our latest newsletter! Please email Susan Granbery, sgranbery@gfc.state.ga.us if you would like to be added to our Constant Contact database.

Scroll down this page for our fall leaf color updates.

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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!

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Community Tree News is sent quarterly through Constant Contact. This issue was sent January 4th. To join our mailing list, send an email to sgranbery@gfc.state.ga.us.

In addition to the Tree City USAs listed in the newsletter, several more have been certified for 2017 and will receive their materials in the next few weeks: Alpharetta, Augusta, Bainbridge, Blairsville, Clayton, Dublin, Forsyth, Fort Gordon, Jekyll Island, LaGrange, Louisville, Millen, Montezuma, Richmond Hill, Summerville, Thomasville, Tifton, Tybee Island and Union Point.

Join us for our statewide Arbor Day celebration in Georgia on February 15! More information.

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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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