By Carlen Hultgren
With the recent cold temperatures and snow, it’s hard to think about spring, let alone getting outside and planting. But joining the Arbor Day Foundation is an ideal way to get in the mood for spring planting as well as supporting a good cause. Anyone from Georgia who joins the Foundation in February 2016 will receive 10 free eastern redbud trees to plant when the weather warms up. These trees could be used in your own yard, donated to a neighbor, a school, a neighborhood green space, or park. The possibilities to make a greener East Atlanta are endless.
The free trees are part of the nonprofit foundation’s “Trees for America” campaign. Redbuds will help beautify Georgia for many years to come,” said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “They will also add to the proud heritage of Georgia’s existing Tree City USA communities.”
The Tree City USA program has supported community forestry throughout the country for the past 40 years and Atlanta has been a part of it for 31 years.
Founded in 1972, the centennial of the first Arbor Day observance in the 19th century, the foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members, supporters and valued partners. The impact they make on our world is accomplished through conservation and education programs like the Tree City USA community improvement program. Other programs include habitat and forest ecosystem restoration as the organization helps replant damaged areas of our nation’s forests. The “Nature Explore Classrooms” program provides children the opportunity to experience enhanced learning and development as they are provided a daily connection with nature at early childhood education centers, elementary schools, and other public spaces across the country.
The eastern redbud trees will be shipped postpaid at the right time for planting, between March 1 and May 31, with enclosed planting instructions. The 6- to 12-inch trees are guaranteed to grow or they will be replaced free of charge. Members also receive a subscription to the foundation’s colorful bimonthly publication, Arbor Day, and The Tree Book, which contains information about planting and care.
The local organization, Trees Atlanta, will be hosting several events throughout the state during the week leading up to Georgia’s own Arbor Day celebration on February 19. “We are offering something for everyone this Arbor Week,” said Trees Atlanta’s Co-Executive Director, Greg Levine. “No matter what your age or whether you are a morning or evening person, we’ve got a great way for you to say ‘thank you’ to the trees that make Atlanta home.”
Starting on Wednesday, February 11, Trees Atlanta’s Georgia Arbor Day lineup will include tree planting activities, youth and adult educational workshops, art hunts, tree walks, and much more.
To become a member of the Arbor Day Foundation and receive the free trees, send a $10 contribution to Ten Free Eastern Redbud Trees, Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska City, NE 68410, by February 29, or visit www.arborday.org/february.
The Arbor Day Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit conservation and education organization. A million members, donors and partners support the programs to make the world greener and healthier. For more information on all the foundation’s programs, please visit: www.arborday.org/programs.
Trees Atlanta is a nationally recognized nonprofit citizens group dedicated to protecting and improving Atlanta’s urban forest by planting, conserving, and educating. Since 1985, Trees Atlanta has planted and distributed more than 100,000 trees. For more information about Trees Atlanta and local Arbor Day events, please visit www.treesatlanta.org or call (404) 681-4891.
Free Trees in February from the Arbor Day Foundation
By Carlen Hultgren