Becoming the City in a Forest By David May

Marcia Photo

It took some hundred years for anyone to think of Atlanta as “The City in a Forest.” But today, beyond the downtown skyline, trees dominate the landscape, making it easy to see how Atlanta has the most tree cover of any major city in the United States. However, this beautiful distinction is not easily maintained. Constantly growing suburbs and pressure for more streamlined construction have threatened the presence of the abundant dogwoods, oaks and southern pines that pervade the city.

Marcia Bansley is among the city’s chief defenders of the canopy. An Atlanta native, Marcia worked to protect the metro area’s natural resources with various organizations before helping create the area’s largest urban forestry nonprofit, Trees Atlanta, which has grown to significant distinction. As the founding executive director, she spent 26 years growing the organization.