Tybee’s 120th Birthday Recognized by 120 Trees

Sponsored by The Home Depot Foundation
Savannah, Ga. (October 16, 2007)- To recognize Tybee Island’s 120th birthday, the Savannah Tree Foundation, in partnership with Mayor Jason Buelterman, Councilman Paul Wolff, Councilwoman Kathryn Williams, the city manager, and Melaver, Inc. will plant 120 trees at Memorial Park. This event are one of more than 200 regreening, educational, and training efforts throughout the country being promoted during October as part of NeighborWoods Month. NeighborWoods Month is a national campaign of the Alliance for Community Trees (ACT). Savannah Tree Foundation is a member of ACT’s NeighborWoods Network.

Rapid and unplanned development over the past decade has significantly impacted Tybee’s tree canopy. Last year, the City Council updated the city’s tree ordinances and made a long-term commitment to planting more trees throughout the island’s public spaces. The move was seen as a way for the Island to recognizes the need to reestablish its residential base and recommit to serving the needs of a year-round residential community.
“Our goal is to replant in public places to compensate for trees being lost on private property,” said Tybee Island Councilwoman Kathryn Williams. “We live on a fragile barrier island, and we realize the importance of maintaining the maritime forest. Because property values have gone up tremendously, we’re under pressure to develop the island and trees are sacrificed. We feel it’s important to maintain trees on public property and to serve as a good example for private property owners in our community.” The “120 Years of Trees on Tybee” tree planting is a part of this new effort to counteract previous development and to revitalize the community by offering more amenities for all residents.
The most recent Tybee Island Master Plan (1992) indicated that less than 20 acres of commercially zoned land and only 90 total acres of residentially zoned parcels were available for development, out of the island’s 1,366 gross acres within city limits. While the number of housing units increased 25% between the 1990 and 2000 U.S. Census, the number of units used for seasonal, recreational, or occasional use increased from 33% to 60% of the total housing stock.
On October 20, Savannah Tree Foundation will host a Ceremonial Tree Planting to plant three live oaks and announce the 120 trees to be planted on October 27. Terri Morton, Assistant Program Manager at The Home Depot Foundation, will recognize achievements by Savannah Tree Foundation and speak about the importance of trees in building healthy and livable communities. Also in attendance will be U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, the Georgia Forestry Commission, Chatham County Board of Commissioner Pete Liakakis, Chatham County Manager Russ Abolt, and Georgia State Senator Tom Coleman.
NeighborWoods Month is sponsored through a generous grant from The Home Depot Foundation. “National NeighborWoods Month offers a unique opportunity for people to understand the contributions of trees to the health, beauty and livability of their communities,” said Kelly Caffarelli, Vice President of The Home Depot Foundation. “By partnering with ACT and local NeighborWoods organizations like Savannah Tree Foundation, The Foundation is able to further its goals of investing in the overall health and success of our communities.”
About The Home Depot Foundation
The Home Depot Foundation was created in 2002 to further the community building goals of The Home Depot by providing additional resources to assist nonprofit organizations building affordable, efficient, and healthy homes throughout the United States and Canada. The Home Depot Foundation is dedicated to creating healthy, livable communities through the integration of affordable housing built responsibly and the preservation and restoration of community trees. Since its formation, The Home Depot Foundation has granted more than $50 million to nonprofit and government organizations throughout North America. In 2006 alone, projects supported by the foundation built 9,000 units of housing and planted 300,000 trees. For more information, visit www.homedepotfoundation.org.
More information at: www.neighborwoodsmonth.org or www.savannahtreefoundation.com
For Immediate Release Contact:
Adrienn Mendonca
Savannah Tree Foundation
Download Savannah Tree Foundation’s NeighborWoods Month press release.