Good News: Savannah Tree Foundation starts planting campaign

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Savannah is known for its trees, and one local non-profit wants to keep it that way.

The Savannah Tree Foundation began a tree-planting campaign on Thursday to help replace the alarming number of trees Chatham County has been losing.

There is a secret hiding within Savannah's green space and tree-lined streets.

"Savannah suffers from tree loss. We lose tree canopy every day at a rate of three football fields a day," said Heather Gordon, Savannah Tree Foundation.

The Savannah Tree Foundation feels a responsibility to help reverse that pattern. Georgia's first tree foundation serves as the first line of defense against tree loss in the area.

"Savannah Tree Foundation is committed to going to every municipality within Chatham County and planting a couple of trees to help with regrowth of trees. Savannah is known as the Forest City, and we want to make sure we continue to grow that forest," Gordon said.

The organization started its campaign with several trees in Pooler's Memorial Park on Thursday - the first of five Live Oak plantings over the next six days. They will be replacing trees lost in hurricanes Matthew and Irma over the last two years - but are also keeping an eye on the mass tree removal happening along local highways.

"We've seen a lot of tree loss on some of the GDOT roadways over the past year. Savannah Tree Foundation is reaching out to GDOT. We want to know more about that process and what's happening there because citizens are concerned and we appreciate them speaking up and saying the trees are important to them," Gordon said.

It's all part of the long-term effort that started, appropriately, the day before Arbor Day.

"We have to be looking at regrowing that tree canopy, planting new trees, keeping the trees we have healthy because trees are important to keeping our communities viable," Gordon said.

The Savannah Tree Foundation will be planting trees in Bloomingdale on Friday, Thunderbolt and Tybee Island on Saturday, and in Garden City next Tuesday.

City employees in the different municipalities are doing the plantings, so there are no volunteer opportunities. Click here for a list of all plantings.

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