More trees will be coming to residents’ yards and public streets thanks to a partnership between the city and Trees Atlanta.
The partnership, called the NeighborWoods Project, will resume a project already existing in the city, the Front Yard Tree Program, as well as introduce a second program called the Right of Way program.
“The NeighborWoods Project with Trees Atlanta is a committed effort by the city to enhance the city’s existing tree canopy and improve neighborhood involvement and sense of ownership in the city’s urban forest,” city spokesperson Sharon Kraun said in a press release.
Each program will provide up to 200 trees over the next five years and Trees Atlanta, a nonprofit organization, will receive up to $50,000 from the city annually for each program.
In 2018, Sandy Springs participated in a pilot program that provided 74 free front yard trees to residents.
The intent is to lower summer temperatures and reduce energy consumption by investing in tree canopy cover for neighborhoods, according to the nonprofit’s website.
Resident Shelley Margulies Gordon participated in the Front Yard Tree program and had three trees planted in her yard, including one nuttall oak, one shumard oak and one ginkgo tree.
Margulies Gordon says her experience with Trees Atlanta was “nothing short of fabulous.”
“It was as simple as a phone call and a follow up email… By March of this year, three beautiful baby trees were planted and now they are thriving,” Margulies Gordon told the Reporter.
The total amount spent on the Front Yard Tree program will depend on the homeowner’s usage of the program, which Margulies Gordon encourages everyone to take advantage of.
“It made [my family] feel proud to be residents of Sandy Springs and see our tax dollars put to work in such a productive and beautiful way,” Margulies Gordon said.
For the new program for the city, the Right of Way program, Trees Atlanta staff will identify locations that would best benefit from trees for city-owned property, plant the trees and provide maintenance for two years.
“The city hopes to [enhance the city’s tree canopy] by planting trees in city rights of way, city parks, and private parcels through specified projects,” the press release says.
The Right of Way program will be covered by the city’s Tree Fund, which is paid by developers, builders, contractors, homeowners and others as compensation for permitted and illegal removal of trees within city limits.
Trees Atlanta currently has partnerships with many local municipalities, including Atlanta, Brookhaven and Dunwoody, but the collaboration with Sandy Springs is the organization’s largest effort to date, according to Communications Director Alex Beasley.
“We look forward to helping Sandy Springs maintain its position as one of the most forested areas in metro Atlanta while we engage with homeowners throughout the city to add shade to their landscapes,” Beasley said.
For more information or to request a tree, visit treesatlanta.org.