“Preserving our City in the Forest” by Christina Gibson



Preserving our City in the Forest
By Christina Gibson, Canopy Conservation Coordinator, Trees Atlanta

When asked what people love about Atlanta, many say they love the trees. In spite of our city’s urban sprawl there are still pockets of intact, old-growth Piedmont forests throughout the region – our tree canopy coverage in the City is nearly 48%(2008). But unfortunately, in the current climate of rapid, high-density development, trees are often an afterthought. Some developers regard tree-saving measures as inconvenient and replanting requirements as a nuisance; rarely do the quality, quantity, and type of trees replanted match those trees lost to site clearance and construction. Developers pay recompense fees into the City’s tree fund for tree removal. As newcomers flock to Atlanta, we cannot afford to let this laissez-fairetree culture prevail, or we will certainly lose our most valuable natural asset and sacrifice our civic identity. It is not too late to prevent that from happening, but it will require us to pay attention, demand more creativity of the development community, and strive for excellence in our tree and zoning ordinances.