Atlanta, GA (January 5, 2012)- The Grove provides a nationwide community for citizens engaged in preserving and positively contributing to the United States’ urban forest. The site enables members to share their interests, knowledge and experiences in planting trees with other like-minded nature enthusiasts and to document and commemorate life moments online with family, friends and their communities.
Members on The Grove community can join their state group and connect with foresters, arborists and other environmentally conscious citizens in their area. Similar to other social networking sites, members on The Grove can upload pictures, videos and captions of their tree planting experiences, discuss tree-related issues and get updates on local planting events. The Grove offers a tree match tool to assist members in choosing the right tree to plant their legacy or to commemorate a special event, such as an anniversary, birth, wedding or other life moment. The site also provides general planting information and care tips for those new to planting.
“On The Grove, forestry discussions are open to everyone, from state foresters and non-profits, to corporations and landscape architects, to hobbyists and everyday nature lovers. The Grove fosters communication among these different groups and encourages collaboration under the shared goal of greater environmental awareness and sustainable action,” said Ed Macie, the Southern
Region Urban Forestry Program Manager for the USDA Forest Service.
Created by the Georgia Urban Forest Council (GUFC) and the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) through a grant from the USDA Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Program, The Grove online community was beta tested in the Southeast in 2009 and 2010 before its national launch in 2011. In its beta stage, The Grove gained more than 1,400 members and almost 19,000 online visitors. Today, membership has nearly doubled and the community averages approximately 90 visitors per day.
“The regional beta test helped us to discover that sustainability-minded individuals and families are often as social media savvy as they are environmentally savvy,” said Susan Granbery, urban and community forestry coordinator for the GFC. “By combining these two interests, we were able to open up the forestry discussion from local organizations and niche groups to a national community of collaboration, inspiration and activation. The Grove inspires people on a national level to take action on the local level.”
In addition to discussions of broader forestry issues, The Grove also acts as a resource for families, providing planting tips and information on local activities to help parents engage their children in creating their own green legacies.
“Parents can find information on The Grove to help them raise environmentally conscious children,” said Mary Lynne Beckley, executive director of GUFC. “From highlighting the benefits of planting trees locally, to identifying planting events, to addressing grief through planting trees in memory of relatives or pets, the online community provides tools and information pertinent to everyday families that are trying to incorporate sustainable living into their daily lives.”
To become a member, create a profile at www.AmericanGrove.org/TheGrove.
About Georgia Urban Forest Council The Georgia Urban Forest Council (GUFC) is a nonprofit organization that promotes the benefits of community forests and the importance of managing and protecting Georgia’s tree canopy. Its mission is to sustain Georgia’s green legacy by helping communities grow healthy trees. For more information, visit www.gufc.org.
About Georgia Forestry Commission The Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) is a state agency responsible for providing leadership, service and education in the protection and conservation of Georgia’s forest resources. Georgia Forestry Commission foresters help community leaders recognize the value of trees and plan with them in mind, which translates into cleaner air and water and healthier, safer, more attractive places to live, work and play. For more information, visit www.GaTrees.org.
USDA Forest Service The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of National Forest System land, provides stewardship assistance to non-federal forest landowners and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. For more information on the Urban and Community Forestry Program, visit: www.fs.fed.us/ucf.