In celebration of its annual Root Ball event, Brownieland is featuring Trees Atlanta, a nonprofit community group that protects and improves Atlanta’s urban forest by planting, conserving, and educating. Founded in 1985, Trees Atlanta works to mitigate Atlanta’s tree loss, protect its forests, and increase its tree canopy. Empowered by a community of volunteers, Trees Atlanta serves the metro Atlanta area and has grown to become one of Atlanta’s most widely known and supported nonprofit organizations. The Brownieland Team had a wonderful experience volunteering with Trees Atlanta for our February 2019 Volunteer Project, assisting with projects at their facility and along the Atlanta BeltLine’s Westside Trail.
Trees Atlanta plants over 7,000 trees every year, including helping to design, install, and maintain the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum; educates youth and adults through classroom lessons and hands-on training, and improves forested land by removing invasive species restoring the native plant ecology of the area. Trees Atlanta is a trusted leader in organizing and demonstrating stewardship of our urban tree canopy. On May 27th, Trees Atlanta will host its annual Root Ball event to recognize achievements, acknowledge the 2021 Tree Champion award winners, (re)celebrate the 2020 Tree Champions, and launch the groundbreaking of the Trees Atlanta new Headquarters on Warner Street SW.
Find out more about this incredible nonprofit in our guest blog post by Judy Yi, Director of Outreach & Marketing at Trees Atlanta.
There is a superhero living in your backyard. What would you call something that can cool us from the beating sun, feed us, protect our watershed, give us clean air to breathe, provide habitat for wildlife, and look pretty darn good while doing it all! They’re trees!
Many of us have an even greater appreciation for the trees lately as we all sought out places where we could (literally) breathe easier because they’re nearby. The benefits of trees are many, and while trees seem invincible, they need our help, too. In urban environments like Atlanta, trees need to be planted and need intentional planning and care to ensure their prolonged survival. Trees also depend on advocates to speak for them when needless removal may be threatened. Trees Atlanta’s mission addresses all these needs.
While many individuals garden and care for the trees and plants in their own yards, organizations like Trees Atlanta focus on trees in public places. The importance of street trees is driven by (no pun intended, or maybe we did) the need for greater and equitable public access to the benefits of trees. Trees Atlanta works hard to get more trees on neighborhood streets, in parks, and in other public places. We also do a lot of work to remove invasive species that threaten forested areas throughout the metro Atlanta area. The trees in yards and other private properties plus “public trees” make up our “urban forest.” The more trees we have, the greater our urban forest, and the superpowers of trees increase.
Trees Atlanta is a nonprofit community group that protects and improves Atlanta’s urban forest by planting, conserving, and educating. Since its founding in 1985, the organization has planted over 140,000 trees throughout metro Atlanta with volunteers and partners. Our work results in the environmental, social, and economic benefits of trees being more widely available for the health and well-being of all communities. Every year, Trees Atlanta plants over 7,000 new trees and cares for hundreds of acres of forests with the help of thousands of volunteers. Volunteers can join Trees Atlanta nearly every week of the year in tree planting and tree care projects.
Consider learning more about trees, their importance in our urban ecosystem, and get out in the fresh air by volunteering with Trees Atlanta. Trees Atlanta provides all the tools, brings the trees, and trains volunteers how to properly plant trees at their 3-hour projects. Other tree care projects need volunteers, too, including our forest restoration work which involves removing invasive plant species (like English ivy, Chinese privet, knotweed, and stilt grass) and replanting natives to improve the health of city forests. Volunteers can also learn how to properly prune trees — an important tree care task that ensures that trees thrive in very challenging growing conditions in urban areas. Trees in deep forests don’t need to be pruned to provide clearance for car or pedestrian traffic, nor do they stand by hot roadways that radiate intense heat and pollutants, but trees in public areas do, so they require our help to ensure they grow to their full potential.
In addition to our work in public outdoor spaces, Trees Atlanta offers a robust curriculum of education programs for youth and adults. Among our most popular programs for kids is Summer Camp for Junior TreeKeepers, where the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum is their play and learning space! High school students can apply to be hired as part of Trees Atlanta’s Youth Tree Team, a paid job training program designed to expand awareness and skills applicable to green jobs. Although many presentations are still being hosted online, for now, our Speaker Series, lunch and learns, and workshops offer fascinating learning opportunities for adults.
Trees Atlanta staff and volunteers work hard, but we also have a lot of fun. Volunteers have opportunities to mingle at impromptu lunches after projects, play in a summer softball series with other local nonprofits, shop our very popular Native Plant Sale (April) and Annual Tree Sale (October), and celebrate the year at the big spring fundraiser called the Root Ball. We love tree puns, can you tell? This year’s Root Ball 2021 is being hosted virtually on May 27, and we’d love for you to join either with a free ticket or by purchasing a ticket that comes with a nifty Gift Basket. All proceeds help to support our many good works. To volunteer and learn more about the organization, please visit: treesatlanta.org and follow them on our active social media @treesatlanta.