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April 19 - Arbor Day Foundation Names Jekyll Island a ‘Tree City USA’

Category: Lowcountry Business News

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

April 19, 2019 - Jekyll Island has received the National Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA designation in honor of the Jekyll Island Authority’s commitment to effective urban forest management in 2018.

“Tree City USA communities see the impact an urban forest has first-hand,” said Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Communities worldwide are facing issues with air quality, water resources, personal health and wellbeing, and energy use. Jekyll Island is stepping up to do its part.”

Cliff J. Gawron, J.I.A. director of landscaping and planning, and his team planted hundreds of seedlings in 2018. So far this year, they have planted 450 seedlings with assistance from the Rotary Club of Jekyll Island. The 250 longleaf pines and 200 live oak seedlings were donated by the Georgia Forestry Commission. In addition, they have planted 90 mature shade trees including oaks, crape myrtles, magnolias, and red cedars. Because time, storms, disease, and even hungry deer take their toll on Jekyll’s trees, continual reforestation initiatives are imperative to the island’s preservation.

“The Tree City USA designation is welcome recognition of our commitment to responsible stewardship of Jekyll Island,” said Jones Hooks, J.I.A. executive director. “We will continue these efforts, which are essential not just in preserving our tree canopy for residents and visitors to enjoy, but also to sustain habitats for wildlife.”

A tree planting ceremony in honor of Arbor Day will be held April 27 at 2:45 p.m., in association with the public grand opening of Mosaic, the reimagined Jekyll Island Museum. The grand opening celebration begins at 11 a.m. and will include historic characters, guided nature walks, a food truck, and craft activities for children. Mosaic is located at 100 Stable Road.

The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. The Tree City USA program, founded in 1976, provides the framework for communities to manage and expand their public trees.

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