JIA relocates over 300 trees before demolition

JEKYLL ISLAND, GA (WTOC) - The Jekyll Island Authority is spending nearly $500,000 to save and relocate trees that could be destroyed and harmed during the construction of the new Jekyll Island Convention Center and Beach Village. Some of the trees are being moved to permanent homes and some of them will be stored and then replanted once construction is finished.

The contract for the relocation includes a five-year "aftercare" rehabilitation plan. Arborguard Tree Specialists are assisting with the relocation.

"Trees and the tree canopy are special elements on Jekyll Island, and it makes sense for us to save the larger specimens instead of having them cut down," stated Jekyll Island Authority Executive Director Jones Hooks in a news release.

Close to 275, Cabbage Palms are being relocated and some of those trees will be used in the Jekyll Island Historic District in a historic landscape restoration project. Twenty large Canary Date Palms were moved and transplanted to beautify public areas on the island. Large Crepe Myrtles and 34 Live Oaks are also being saved.

"Obviously, we all love the trees on Jekyll Island and many of these specimens are decades old," stated Jekyll Island Authority Landscape Superintendent Cliff Gawron in a news release. "I'm proud the decision was made to save the trees so they can continue to live, grow and provide shade and habitat for many more decades."

The work being done to save the trees gives points towards a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certifications. The Jekyll Island Authority says the new Jekyll Island Convention Center and Beach Village is expected to achieve a LEED silver rating.

The Jekyll Island Authority allowed the community to recycle small shrubs, grasses prior to demolition of the old shopping center and convention center site last week.

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