Saturday, November 27, 2010

Jekyll Island Authority Contributes Nearly $500,000 to Tree Relocation and Rehabilitation

/PRNewswire/ -- With the revitalization of Jekyll Island underway, significant resources are being used to save and relocate trees that would otherwise be in the way and possibly harmed during construction. The Jekyll Island Authority will spend nearly $500,000 in tree relocation activities including a five-year "aftercare" program to ensure the likelihood of survival.

The trees are being relocated from the area that will soon become the new Jekyll Island convention center and beach village. Some trees are being immediately relocated to new, permanent locations, while others are being stored in hardening beds and will be replanted once the convention center and beach village nears completion.

"Trees and the tree canopy are special elements on Jekyll Island, and it makes sense for us to save the larger specimens instead of cutting them down," stated Jones Hooks, Executive Director of the Jekyll Island Authority (JIA).

Approximately 275 Cabbage Palms are being relocated with the potential of some being used in the Jekyll Island Historic District in a historic landscape restoration project. Twenty large Canary Date Palms have been moved and transplanted to beautify public areas on the island. Large Crepe Myrtles and 34 Live Oaks are also being saved.

Arborguard Tree Specialists are assisting with tree protection and tree relocation activities. The work, in addition to responsible environmental stewardship, will also provide points for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification. The new Jekyll Island convention center and beach village is expected to achieve a minimum LEED Silver rating.

"Obviously, we all love the trees on Jekyll Island and many of these specimens are decades old," stated Cliff Gawron, Landscape Superintendent, JIA. "I'm proud the decision was made to save the trees so they can continue to live, grow and provide shade and habitat for many more decades."

The Authority also set aside time for the community to retrieve any remaining plant material, bricks, irrigation components and landscape edging from the former shopping center site and convention center last week prior to its demolition. Jekyll Island Authority landscape personnel helped to direct those interested in digging and claiming for reuse any available small shrubs, grasses and pavers prior to full-scale demolition. This public opportunity to save remaining plant material is not only a positive step toward environmental stewardship positive for environmental stewardship but it also reduces the amount of waste material that will be sent to off-island landfills.

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