Skip to main content

Newsroom

If you want to be in the know about what’s going on in urban forestry, you’ve come to the right place.

Be sure to check back regularly to get our latest news updates. 

Click on the green headline to read the full article.

A great way to keep up with urban and community forestry in Georgia and be "in the know" about educational programs, technical assistance, and resource opportunities is to sign up for the Georgia Tree Council email list. Click on the green icon to sign up!

The USDA Forest Service, authorized by the Inflation Reduction Act and the Community Forestry Assistance Act of the 1990 Farm Bill, has allocated funding to the Georgia Forestry Commission for statewide distribution, in partnership with the Georgia Tree Council.

Subtitle D, Sec. 23003 (a). State and Private Forestry Conservation Programs via the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) appropriated $1,500,000,000 to provide multiyear, programmatic, competitive grants. Of this total allocation $9,750,000 was allocated to Georgia to be distributed statewide over a 5-year period. Urban and Community Forestry (U&CF) is also covered under the Agency’s Justice40 Initiative established through Executive Order 13985. To advance the mission of Justice40, proposals should deliver the benefits of IRA investments through established partnerships with local organizations working to support disadvantaged communities experiencing low tree canopy and environmental justice.

The USDA is a partner on the Interagency Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Promoting Equitable Access to Nature in Nature-Deprived Communities, which seeks to reduce the number of people without access to parks and nature in their communities. The America the Beautiful Initiative supports the prioritization of locally led conservation and park projects in communities that disproportionately lack access to nature and its benefits.

Therefore, the priority of the Georgia ReLeaf program is DISADVANTAGED COMMUNITIES as per the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST). CEJST is a geospatial mapping tool to identify census tracts that are overburdened by climate change, pollution or other environmental or socioeconomic factors. These communities are considered disadvantaged because they are overburdened and underserved.

Other government sanctioned data sources may be considered, but the focus is on the CEJST tool. Also visit https://treeequityscore.org to learn more about why trees are critical for every community and how to determine a community’s tree equity score, a measure of how well a neighborhood is benefitting from healthy community trees.

The objectives of the Georgia ReLeaf Program are to:

1) Contribute to tree equity in disadvantaged communities.

2) Improve the environmental, economic, and social health of Georgia communities

3) Help sustain health and diversity in Georgia’s community forests

4) Improve planning efforts of city administrators, municipal tree departments and tree boards

5) Increase environmental and health benefits to combat the effects of climate change.

Projects submitted must be for 1) Tree Planting projects and/or 2) Tree Giveaway events which meet at least one of the program objectives.

Read the guidelines and apply: https://gatreecouncil.org/what-we-do/georgia-releaf.html

The Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service (USFS) announces the Trees Across Georgia (TAG) Urban and Community Forestry (U&CF) Grant Program. The program is designed to encourage projects that plant trees and increase the benefits of tree canopy, create and support long-term and sustained urban and community forestry programs, and promote the care of trees in communities throughout Georgia with emphasis on disadvantaged communities.

The USDA Forest Service, authorized by the Inflation Reduction Act and the Community Forestry Assistance Act of the 1990 Farm Bill, has allocated funding to the Georgia Forestry Commission for statewide distribution.
The grant application period will open June 1st, 2024. The Trees Across Georgia Kick-Off Webinar will be held June 6th, 2024 via Microsoft Teams. To receive the webinar link, please sign up at the link below.

There are two sources of funding for this grant opportunity. One source is Georgia’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funding. These IRA funds MUST be used in DISADVANTAGED COMMUNITIES identified by the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST). CEJST is a geospatial mapping tool to identify census tracts that are overburdened by climate change, pollution or other environmental or socioeconomic factors. These communities identified through CEJST are considered disadvantaged because they are overburdened and underserved.

The other source of funding is through non-IRA Community Forestry Assistance funds. These projects do not have to have an exclusive focus on disadvantaged communities but the potential amount that can be awarded is substantially less and requires a match.

Projects or programs of work completed 80%-100% in disadvantaged communities identified by CEJST may qualify for IRA funding. IRA qualified projects will be eligible for funding up to $150,000 per year for up to three years based on need and completed milestones. In addition, IRA qualified projects will not be required to provide a match.

Projects which do not focus 80%-100% on disadvantaged communities do not qualify for IRA funding. Non-IRA projects may be selected to receive up to $50,000 in non-IRA Community Forestry Assistance funds which require a dollar for dollar match. These projects must be completed within a one-year timeframe.

Eligible project categories:

Urban Forestry Program Support – Projects that encourage improved management of community forestry resources such as staffing, workforce development, technical assistance, ordinance development, storm readiness planning, invasive species removal, etc.
Tree planting – Tree planting projects which address tree equity, mitigate the effects of extreme heat and climate change, replace storm damaged canopy, create greenspaces, reduce stormwater runoff and/or increase the environmental and social benefits of trees.
Tree Advocacy Group Development and Support – Projects that organize or train tree boards and projects that develop or enhance a non-profit 501(c)3 group’s ability to support tree care, tree planting, or tree education efforts
Urban Wood Utilization – Projects that increase knowledge, awareness, and visibility of urban wood utilization and recycling. Grant funding may be applied to education and outreach materials, demonstration of specialized equipment and techniques for working on smaller interface woodlots, and assessments of the feasibility of recycling and processing urban waste wood.
Read the full grant guidelines at the link on this page: https://gatrees.org/urban-community-forestry/trees-across-georgia-tag-grant-program/

This popular annual educational event, hosted this year by Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, is for tree keepers on any type of campus setting - colleges and universities, corporate campuses, botanical gardens, etc. Attendees include directors and staff of landscaping departments, as well as grounds crews, administrators, sustainability leaders, arborists, and others who care for campus trees. We'll talk about tree issues common to campuses such as safety and risk, soil compaction, campus growth and trees, and many other topics. We'll shine a spotlight on campuses in the southeast Georgia region and their tree planting and preservation projects. Don't work for a campus? That's okay - everyone is invited to attend. Read more and register.

Welcome to the Georgia Forestry Forum! This is a podcast that explores trees and forests - the rich and renewable resources - and the innumerable benefits we humans get from them!

Today's topic is all things Georgia Arbor Day! Join Seth Hawkins of the Georgia Forestry Commission and Mary Lynne Beckley of the Georgia Tree Council for a discussion on the importance of Arbor Day, more about how you can participate in this year's festivities, and all about the importance of trees in our lives.

We're thrilled to be presenting the Annual Georgia Tree Conference this year at the Jekyll Island Club Resort. Attendees will enjoy informative general sessions and interesting breakouts, all with knowledgeable speakers and urban forestry experts to help you gain the knowledge you need to care for your community's urban forest.

Learn more about the Jekyll Island Club Resort here: https://www.jekyllclub.com/

This event also features our Excellence in Urban Forestry Awards Luncheon, a tour of Jekyll Island's trees, and an evening reception with food, drink, and a silent auction benefitting the Georgia Tree Council's work.

CEUs will be available.

Make sure you are on our email list to receive announcements about this GTC signature educational event as details are posted!