Coastal Bryan Tree Foundation Receives Award For Outstanding Work

Wendy Bolton (left) and Carole Brogdon receive the Georgia Urban Forest Council’s Outstanding Civic Organization Award for 2005 presented at the Council’s Annual Conference in Dalton.

Decatur, GA — Kristina Eicher and Jessica Roth, Awards Co-Chairmen for the Georgia Urban Forest Council (GUFC), announce that the Coastal Bryan Tree Foundation has been selected to receive the Council’s Outstanding Civic Organization Award for 2005.   The City of Richmond Hill submitted their nomination.  Winners in all categories were honored at the GUFC Annual Conference and Awards Luncheon on Thursday, October 20, 2005, in Dalton.

The Foundation is currently supporting the coordination of a county-wide tree ordinance for Bryan County. The Foundation values tree canopy as an essential element in the quality and unique character of life on the coast and recognizes trees as economic, aesthetic and ecological assets for today and as a legacy for future generations.

“We have had input from the County and both cities as well as major builder/developers in the county. The level of support and mutual cooperation has been extremely positive. There is a great deal of interest in the process and the outcome throughout the state,” said Rena Patton, president of the Foundation.

 The Foundation will convene and facilitate workshops for interested parties, including elected officials, homebuilders, developers and home owners from all parts of the county. Incorporated into these seminars will be elements of low-impact design as well as models of ordinances that will solicit broad-based support from the community and reward the inclusion of trees in design plans.

“This ordinance will reach across governmental boundaries and bring that much sought-after cohesion that the elected officials of both the county and the cities — Pembroke and Richmond Hill— are seeking.” said Patton

           

Though only four years old, the Foundation has planted more than 130 live oaks in south Bryan County and the City of Richmond Hill. The planting of live oak trees on Georgia Arbor Day, is the Foundation’s major annual project. “Those young live oaks you see flourishing along Ford Avenue and U.S. Highway 17 are evidence of the tremendous support we’re received from the Georgia Urban Forestry Council and the local community,” said Carole Brogdon, treasurer of the Foundation.

Along with the plantings at Carver Elementary, Richmond Hill Elementary, Middle and High Schools, the Foundation is pleased to be a partner in developing a Master Plan with the Bryan County Board of Education. “School Board Vice-Chairman, Frances Meeks and Superintendent, Dr. Sallie Brewer have been very instrumental in our partnership with the schools and planning for the inclusion of Project Learning Tree into the curriculum at appropriate levels,” said Chris Flake, curriculum resource teacher for the schools.

On Earth Day 2005, the Foundation held its first annual “Root Ball”, a fabulous evening of dinner, dancing and a silent auction held outdoors under a canopy of live oaks overlooking the Bryan County coast at Kilkenny.

The GUFC Awards Program recognizes significant contributions to urban forestry in several categories.   Winners this year received a limited edition, framed print of one of the white oak trees in Dalton’s historic West Hill cemetery.  The original drawing of the tree was prepared especially for this year’s award program by artist Barry Nehr.