Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Georgia Citizens Create Legacies by Planting Trees in The Grove

Georgia Forestry Agencies Create Virtual Community to Educate and Engage Citizens to Protect Urban Forests

In an effort to educate, engage and encourage Georgians to plant trees and protect Georgia’s urban tree canopy, the Georgia Urban Forest Council (GUFC) and the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) have joined forces to create a new Web site and online community called The Grove, GeorgiaGrove.org. The Grove allows families and friends to share the experience of planting trees and commemorating special life moments. The Grove members can share their memories by uploading pictures and stories of their tree planting experiences for others to see and discuss. The Grove members can also create groups, or “groves,” to connect, share and interact with other members within the virtual community.

“This is a great tool that allows families to create a legacy and leave a positive mark on the world for their children and grandchildren to enjoy,” said Mary Lynne Beckley, director of the Georgia Urban Forest Council. “By planting trees, we renew our commitment to protecting Georgia’s green legacy, ensuring future generations will share in the life events we celebrated, while enjoying the benefits of living in healthy communities.”

To be a part of The Grove, Georgia residents can log onto GeorgiaGrove.org. There they can create a free account, plant a tree with family and friends, take pictures of the occasion, then upload their photos and post their stories to share the experience with other Grove members. In addition, The Grove offers an interactive Tree Match Tool that provides guidance on choosing the right tree to commemorate a special event, as well as information on tree planting, tree care tips and the benefits of maintaining a healthy urban forest.

According to GFC, Georgia’s urban forests have been diminishing, due to the rapid growth in development. To counteract the negative impact of tree loss, Georgia residents must be informed, educated and activated to help plant trees and preserve urban forest health.

“Strategically planted trees improve energy efficiency in homes, encourage people to linger and shop longer in business districts, provide shade to keep our cities cool and make communities healthier and safer places to live,” said Larry Morris, associate chief of sustainable forestry with Georgia Forestry Commission. “

It is important to encourage Georgia residents to plant trees and help develop vital green infrastructures, which offset the impact of grey infrastructures such as roads and utilities, and help sustain Georgia’s green legacy.”

The Grove is part of GUFC and GFC’s Create Your Legacy initiative, which aims to educate citizens about the ways tree loss impacts the economy, the environment, our health and our social interactions. For more information or to share a legacy, log onto GeorgiaGrove.org today and share a tree planting experience.
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