Posts Tagged ‘volunteers’

Dale's Grove

Georgia Forestry Commission retiree, Dale Higdon, has been named one of three finalists in the prestigious Cox Conserves Heroes awards program created by WSB-TV’s parent company, Cox Enterprises, and the Trust for Public land. The program honors volunteers like Dale, who lends his time and forestry expertise to to the Georgia Piedmont Land Trust, Mill Creek Nature Preserve, American Chestnut Foundation, Georgia Urban Forest Council, Walk in the Forest event with the Society of American Foresters Chattahoochee Chapter, and more.

Visit http://www.coxconservesheroes.com/atlanta/finalists.aspx​​ to view a video about Dale, his time with GFC and his genuine spirit of volunteerism that makes us proud to have had him as part of the GFC family.

Voting takes place in October and individuals are permitted to vote once. If Dale receives the most votes, The Georgia Piedmont Land Trust will receive a $10,000 award.


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by Tim Womick, Saturday, Feb. 22

Jefferson Arbor Day

Jefferson 2

“The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its country.” Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson is a town of about 10,000 in northeast Georgia that was named in his honor 207 years ago.

Elected officials, municipal employees, students and interested citizens gathered there today to celebrate Arbor Day by planting one of my favorite trees, the fan-shaped leafed Ginkgo biloba.

(In a June, 1791 letter to James Madison, Jefferson wrote,”I am sorry we did not bring with us some leaves of different plants which struck our attention, as it is the leaf which principally decides specific differences.”)

A deciduous conifer that matures to 100 feet tall, Ginkgoes date back to the time of the dinosaur and are a living link to our remote past.

Jefferson planted a Ginkgo tree at Monticello in 1807.

Because of their resemblance to maidenhair fern leaflets, Ginkgoes are often called maidenhair tree. The one we planted this morning (and ones available at most nurseries) are male (fruitless) because the female’s seeds ultimately produce a noxious, foul odor when they fall to the ground and split open. There are however many who prize their messy, fleshy goo for believed medicinal properties.

Standing beside the newly planted tree, the Jefferson Heritage Tree Council (JHTC) chairwoman and their mayor wrestled in the more than stiff breeze with the new Tree City USA flag the Georgia Forestry Commission’s Urban and Community Forester Joan Scales had just presented them.

As I looked at the leaf-bare Ginkgo imagining its golden fall foliage, the green and white flag clapped in the vigorous wind. I took a moment to soak-in the “family-like” atmosphere of the gregarious group which appeared to include about 8 decades.

The JHTB website states their mission clearly:

“To secure the many benefits of a healthy, diverse and expansive tree canopy for present and future generations of Jeffersonians.”

I feel a kinship to our third president.

I’ve planted a poplar at Jefferson’s Monticello…even personally delivered one from there to Washington’s Mount Vernon and dug a hole and planted it on the bank of the Potomac.

I’m acquainted with America’s foremost Jefferson impersonator. We met at Independence Park while planting a pure American Chestnut I’d help grow from seed.

That said, I feel very comfortable in unequivocally stating that Mr. Jefferson would be proud of the quaint town that bears his name. But I’m sure mostly, the framer of our Constitution would admire their dedication to being useful.

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This year, GUFC’s quarterly programs are focusing on tree canopy, stormwater management, and water quality. We’ll start with our first quarterly program, February 18 (10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) at the ECO River Education Center, 393 Riverside Parkway in Rome. Speakers include Berry College’s Dr. Martin Cipollini, who is also the director of their Longleaf Pine Project; City of Rome Environmental Manager Brian Roberts; Duncan Hughes, Watershed Manager of the Soque River Watershed Association; and Justin Ellis, Executive Director of the Soque River Watershed Association. Dr. Cipollini will discuss how restoration of native upland forests have positive downstream effects in addition to the intrinsic value of the restoration, using longleaf pine and chestnut trees as examples. We’ll also learn about the basics of trees and stormwater management, learn about Rome’s Burwell Creek Restoration Project and hear about the success of the Soque River Watershed Restoration Project.

After lunch (provided), we’ll have the State Arbor Day Ceremony with State Forester Robert Farris and readings of the State Arbor Day Proclamation and the City of Rome’s Proclamation. We’ll also present certificates of recognition to Tree City USA and Tree Campus USA representatives that are in attendance. Everyone is invited to stay for the Tree Board Networking reception and tree planting that rounds out the day. We hope to see you there!

4 ISA arborist CEUs will be available. Lunch is provided.

Registration: $40 GUFC members and representatives from Tree City and Tree Campus USAs in Georgia, $50 non-members. $10 discount per ticket for groups of three or more Georgia Tree City and Tree Campus USA reps/tree boards.

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If you haven’t already, now is the time to register — We are excited to invite you to participate in the Tree Board Webinar Series in partnership with the US Forest Service and the North Carolina Urban Forest Council.

Through this series of 5 free webinars, we will present ways that your tree board or commission can function more efficiently and effectively within your community. Learning more about the political process, how to communicate your message, community forest management opportunities, and how to engage your volunteers will provide mechanisms for your board or commission to have more impact and better manage your urban trees and green space. This webinar series is useful to newly established boards, as well as boards that have been around for a while but need ideas for how to move forward or gain new energy and focus.

Attending three or more webinars and passing the associated quizzes, earns a tree board education certificate and a resource guide which contains valuable information that will help your board well into the future. Stay engaged and take advantage of this networking opportunity to move your tree board to the next level.

Although each webinar is free to attend, you need to pre-register for them in order to gain access to the live presentation. The webinars will be recorded and available for viewing for up to one year, but you must contact Leslie Moorman (NCUFC1@gmail.com) to gain access. Click here to register for each webinar.

Even though you may have missed the first webinar (Dec., 2013) in this series, you can still participate in the other live webinars.

January 7, 2014 – Understanding the Political Process and Where You Fit In
One of the primary keys to being an effective tree board is understanding how to navigate the political process in your city or town. In this session, we will explore how tree boards and tree board members can advance their efforts by being more influential in making their case for trees.
Presenter: Paul Ries, Instructor and Extension Specialist, Oregon Department of Forestry

February 4, 2014 – Community Forestry Planning
Community tree boards are typically comprised of volunteers who are passionate about their natural resources, but do not necessarily have natural resource management experience. Planning the urban forest takes a lot of thought, time, and communication with community members. This webinar will introduce and/or review some of the components of urban forest management planning and to demonstrate an on-line management planning tool to allow tree boards to create a basic urban forest management plan.
Presenter: Eric Kuehler, US Forest Service

March 4, 2014 – Communicating and Marketing Your Message
Gain techniques and tips on how to communicate the importance of trees and your programs to engage citizens, secure media attention, and gain the support of city council and local governments. Figure out how to ‘speak for the trees’ to clearly communicate the importance of trees, as well as the impact and benefit for the community at large. This presentation will first cover successful message building, then give you the tools to spread your message in your community.
Presenter: Dawn Crawford, BC/DC ideas

April 1, 2014 – Getting Things Done: Engaging Your Volunteers
This session will highlight successful efforts to bring volunteers into your efforts and keep them engaged year after year. Knowing what kind of projects are appropriate for volunteers and how to keep them coming back for more is an important step to having a successful urban forestry program.
Presenter: George Stilphen, Keep Winston-Salem Beautiful and TBD
The Tree Board 101 webinar is now available as a recording.

December 10, 2013 – Tree Board 101
Learn about what tree boards do and how you can be an effective member of this group. This webinar will give you some insights into how groups can perform better and achieve more, making your time on your community’s tree board time well spent. Presenter: Dr. Robert Miller, Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin Stevens-Point.

Click here, View Recording. You will be prompted for your name, email and organization; a Recording Key is NOT required.

If the above link does not work, copy and paste the following link into your browser. You will need the Recording ID to gain access.
Subject: Tree Board Webinar Series – Tree Board 101
Recording URL: https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/usda/view
Recording ID: 9WQJ25-4

Once you watch the recorded webinar and you would like credit towards the Tree Board Education certificate the NC Urban Forest Council is offering to people attending 3 or more of the Tree Board webinar series, please email Leslie Moorman (ncufc1@gmail.com) for the link to the quiz.

The recording misses the speaker introduction for Dr. Bob Miller who is Emeritus Professor of Urban Forestry from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. During his 29 years at UWSP he developed the curriculum and supporting courses for their Urban Forestry Program which has grown to be the largest program of its kind in the US. Prior to his faculty appointment at UWSP, he worked as a forester for the US Forest Service and the Florida Forest Service. Dr. Miller retired from the University in 2002 and currently resides in Oriental, NC. Currently Miller is chair of the Oriental Tree Board, and a member of the TREE Fund Board (a trust that funds tree research) where he chairs the Research Committee. He also is a part time urban forestry and arboriculture consultant, and recently was made an Honorary Life member of the International Society of Arboriculture.

Leslie Moorman
Executive Director
North Carolina Urban Forest Council
Visit us online at http://www.ncufc.org

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The Georgia Forestry Commission’s grant program, Making the Shade, provides trees for playgrounds in elementary schools all around Georgia.

Trees have many benefits on playgrounds including providing shade for children and helping to protect them from sunburn. Trees also lower the overall temperature of the playground. 

At Cooper Elementary School, Darcie Scales, an Ambassador Girl Scout, is managing the Making the Shade project for her Gold Award. A Girl Scout Gold Award is the equivalent to the Boy Scout Eagle Award where the girl needs to serve 80 hours to complete the service project she chooses.

Cooper Elementary is the first school in Gwinnett County to go through with the Making the Shade grant. The principal, Dr. Donna Bishop, the PTA, and Darcie have worked together to plant 34 trees on the playground. The planting day was on November 10th. There were over 100 volunteers that came out to successfully plant all the trees. There are six different species planted on the playground. They are Nuttall oaks, October Glory maples, Swamp White oaks, Autumn Blaze maples, Frontier elms, and London Planetrees.

Each class at Cooper has adopted a tree and will water the tree once a week. During school breaks, Darcie will water all the trees to keep them growing and healthy. Darcie will also be going in to the 5th grade classes to teach the kids more about the trees and the benefits. So far, the Making the Shade program at Cooper Elementary has been a success.


 Before                                                                  After

(This article was written by Darcie Scales. Thanks for a a great project, Darcie, and congratulations on working toward your Gold Award.)

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On Saturday, Nov. 10, more than 150 students from Georgia State University (GSU) planted 30 trees at the intersection of Decatur and Bell Streets in Atlanta as part of the Tree Campus USA program. Mary Wildhelm from the Arbor Day Foundation in Lincoln, Nebraska welcomed the students. We discussed the environmental, economic and social benefits of trees, heard from the faculty advisors of GSU’s tree committee and had a tree planting demonstration with Lauren Sandoval from Trees Atlanta.

Tree Campus USA recognizes the best practices in campus forestry throughout the United States. The goal of the program is to honor college campuses and leaders of their surrounding communities for promoting healthy urban forest management and engaging the campus community in environmental stewardship.

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As we move into October, I want to remind you about the national celebration of trees in communities: National NeighborWoods Month. Each October, National NeighborWoods Month shines a spotlight on urban and community forestry in cities and towns across the country.  I want to make sure that all the good tree activities you’re doing in Georgia are recognized and included, so I encourage you to register your October tree events at www.NeighborWoodsMonth.org. It’ll just take you a few minutes, and it connects your local work to a bigger national campaign that shows how much people care about trees and healthy green communities. We do great urban forestry work in GA — let’s show everyone else just how much we’re doing.

Again, please register your October tree events at www.NeighborWoodsMonth.org, and feel free to contact NeighborWoods@ACTrees.org if you have any questions.

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