Atlanta Canopy Conference 2017


Repost from Saporta Report

Atlanta Canopy Conference
By Greg Levine, Co- Executive Director & Chief Program Officer, Trees Atlanta

I grew up in a two parent, two teacher household. My mother taught art, while my father taught social studies and math. Oddly enough, I don’t remember them badgering us to do our homework, but my father did regularly quiz his four children on our multiplication tables. My mother was more about experiential learning, recruiting me to do work in the yard or help staple yellow and white polka-dotted fabric to the dining room wall. My parents’ home education “program” was more about every day experience, similar to how many of us learn at work.

In college I got a chance to learn more about what I was interested in, which was Landscape Architecture – a great degree that combines nature, the built environment, creativity and a bit of math.

Today I get to work and learn about the environment in the most important city of the South, Atlanta, also known as the “City in the Forest.” Over the last few years, Atlanta has gained a growing reputation as green and sustainable. This reputation, along with an improving quality of life for its residents, is attracting some of the country’s best and brightest.

The Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum adds to our green reputation and further enriches this urban infrastructure project that is transforming the region. Trees are the core of the arboretum, as well as the heart and lungs of Atlanta. The Arboretum demonstrates innovative construction projects and plantings as solutions to environmental issues and when finished, Atlanta will have a 22 mile forested classroom.

Trees Atlanta uses public arboreta to help protect, grow and improve the canopy in our city, but most importantly to help educate all who travel through them about the importance of protecting our forest. Atlanta’s forest is commonly referred to as part of our city’s identity, so the creation of a “Canopy Conference” seems not only the natural thing to do, but the right thing for Trees Atlanta to do for the city. It gives our forest the respect and the attention that it deserves. Trees Atlanta is having its first Canopy Conference on September 23rd, and it will highlight arboreta, which are botanical gardens that focus on trees and other woody plants used for demonstration, education and display.

The conference will have a myriad of speakers, including, landscape architects, tree growers, non-profit leaders and horticulturists, and is for citizens and professionals alike -especially for those with an interest in how local arboreta can be used to protect and grow the canopy.  Attendees will learn how our city is planning to grow while still being green as Planning Commissioner Tim Keane discusses how Atlanta’s Ecological Framework Study will be used in the larger City Design Project. The Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum, the importance of healthy soil and tree diversity will also be topics of the conference.