Atlanta to add 4,000 New Trees to Urban Canopy

Atlanta, GA (September 15, 2013) – Under an agreement with Trees Atlanta and the Atlanta City Council, Atlanta’s urban forest is to be expanded by about 4,000 trees by April 15, 2015. The pending legislation calls for Trees Atlanta to plant the trees and nurture them for two years, with a total budget ceiling of $839,000, which is to be funded—at least in part—from fees collected when trees were removed.

trees in  parksAttention to the city’s tree canopy is needed after being stressed by years of drought and followed by excessive amount of rain, which has saturated the soil.

The first part of the program calls for the planting of about 4,000 small 15-gallon trees, at a cost not to exceed $796,000. The trees are to be distributed equally around the city, with each of Atlanta’s 12 council districts receiving at least 200 new trees.

Trees Atlanta will select the species of trees to be planted. To encourage strong attachment to the new trees, the plan calls for the trees to be planted by neighbors, Trees Atlanta volunteers, and school children.

The proposal also includes the use of sheep and goats to be grazed on public lands to combat invasive plants, an activity currently in practice and which will be operated by trained volunteers at no cost to the city of Atlanta.

The second part of the program provides for community outreach to garner support for trees and create future stewards of trees. The total cost is set at $43,000 and contains four programs:

  • Sixteen guided tree walks or bike tours.
  • TreeKeepers Program: Trees Atlanta will provide two programs to teach participants how to care for trees and lead an urban forestry tree care project.
  • Tree pruning classes: Trees Atlanta will provide 14 classes, each 2.5 hours long.
  • Speaker series: 12 speaking events will educate the public about the importance of the urban forest.

Source: “Atlanta plans to plant 4,000 new trees, use hungry goats and sheep to eat invasive plants on public land,” by David Pendered