Taking Measures for the Health and Well-Being of Our Community
Image used with permission of R.Land, IG: @rlandzo
Update: June 9, 2020
Trees Atlanta is monitoring public health guidance as we plan to return to regular operations. We continue to learn and adjust operations for the safety of our staff and community:
- We are referring to the City of Atlanta’s Reopening Phases as we monitor the state of business in Atlanta. (For more information, please visit: https://atlstrong.org.)
- As of May 27, the City of Atlanta entered into Phase 2 of the Reopening Phases.
- Through the pandemic, our staff has continued working while observing local orders and recommended safety protocols. Our crews have been working outdoors, and work for staff indoors has been moved to work-from-home (WFH).
- When work in the office is required, employees must follow public health safety procedures, including requirements to wear a mask when in the office with others and regular equipment cleaning protocols.
- Our facilities remain closed to the public.
- A limited number of volunteers also helped keep our work moving forward by working with us from a distance. (Trees Atlanta Volunteers Work Creatively From a Distance During COVID-19)
Some notable changes in programming for Spring/Summer include:
- Small Group Volunteering: In June, we opened small group projects with 9 or fewer volunteers. We lead a few 5-volunteer projects in May with success; this assured us that small group volunteering opportunties were feasible and possible. Projects will be posted on our Calendar of Events — registration is mandatory to keep to our participant limits.
- Junior TreeKeeper: Trees Atlanta Summer Camp is canceled. We will monitor public health guidance regarding return to school and in-school education programming in the coming months.
- 2020 TreeKeepers Training Program: Our annual 6-session training program will be conducted as virtual sessions beginning in late July. Registration is open.
- Online Pruning Classes: Pruning classes are offered online. All pruning volunteers must have completed Pruning 101 or above AND have demonstrated volunteer experience before being approved for “solo pruning” assignments.
We are mindfully planning how we’ll head into the coming months and how we’ll lead larger volunteer projects and other outreach and education events. If you have questions or concerns about our business operations or planned programming, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update: April 30, 2020
Through these unprecedented weeks, all Trees Atlanta employees have continued to work from home or outdoors while observing careful social distancing and safety guidelines. Our staff and crew have continued to work with significant modifications. We are striving to be creative and modifying our volunteer, education, and community programs to keep our community engaged — while we are apart. Many programs are being hosted in virtual formats, and sadly some programs have been postponed and a few canceled.
We miss our volunteers and community very much. Meanwhile, we are actively evaluating when and how we can safely re-engage volunteers. For the moment, here are updates to our operations:
- All in-person group volunteer projects, programs, and events are canceled through May 16.
- A few volunteers are volunteering-at-home helping us deliver virtual programs and providing other technical expertise. We greatly appreciate their assistance in helping us to navigate and move forward into new ways to work.
- There will be a very limited range of outdoor tasks that we will allow trained and experienced volunteers to participate in, such as solo pruning, distanced mulching, or watering activities, for example. If you observe staff and/or volunteers in the field, note these events have been carefully planned to allow us to complete necessary and essential work while observing all safety guidelines. The work opportunities are not open for general volunteer sign up for the time being.
- If you are a Green Shirt volunteer, TreeKeeper/Certified Volunteer, or other volunteer with specific expertise and would like to discuss possible volunteer activities, please email email@example.com.
- New virtual education events, including webinars for kids and adults, are added to our website regularly. Check out our Virtual Youth Education daily activities and view the Calendar of Events for Virtual Adult Education programs.
- Online how-to Pruning classes are being added to our virtual program curriculum. Please visit our Calendar of Events to view upcoming education options.
Update from our Co-Executive Directors: April 24, 2020
On behalf of the entire Trees Atlanta staff, board, and leadership, thank you for your support throughout the years. We’re so grateful for supporters like you, who, even in trying times, allow us the flexibility and security to continue our 35-year commitment to the city we love. We are also thankful for those who have and continue to sacrifice so much to keep us all safe.
As our staff continues to focus on the fulfillment of our mission, our primary objective is their wellbeing and safety. Trees Atlanta’s mission has not changed, but the way we accomplish it has. We have enacted several protocols to ensure that we are able to keep Atlanta’s urban forest thriving as we protect our loyal volunteers and passionate staff.
Our youth educators continue to shape our next environmentalists through e-classroom visits. Administrative staff is pursuing every available funding outlet to ensure financial stability into the future. Our program teams are using collaborative mobile technology to survey and plan for the next years’ projects. When it’s necessary to work onsite each employee is outfitted with CDC-recommended personal protective equipment. Our entire staff is also following social distancing protocols.
Our team’s off-the-clock wellbeing is equally important to us. We’ve been approved for the Paycheck Protection Program which will support our staffing expenses over the near term. We also just wrapped up our first-ever virtual plant sale. The response was overwhelming, raising funds to help support our programming. Our first-ever mobile pruning seminars are being hosted in late April, with many more classes being planned for the future. Our annual spring gala, The Root Ball, has been postponed to ensure the safety of staff, corporate partners, and supporters. We’ve taken these challenges as an opportunity to ensure Trees Atlanta’s brand and reputation remain strong.
For all of the hardships that COVID-19 has caused, we are optimistic that it’s also provided us a unified perspective. We are all in this fight together, we each have a part to play, and we are in awe of the selflessness of all of the front-liners who keep us safe. Through education, tree planting, and stewardship of our urban forest, Trees Atlanta remains committed to creating a healthier Atlanta for all. We thank you for your support and because of it, we will come away from this stronger and more focused than ever. We hope that you and your family remain safe and healthy.
Connie Veates and Greg Levine
Update: April 8, 2020
- All group volunteer projects, programs, and events will be canceled (or rescheduled) through April 30.
- We are adding new virtual education events, including webinars for kids and adults. Check out our Virtual Youth Education daily activities and view the Calendar of Events for Virtual Adult Education programs.
- Our 2020 Native Plant Sale has gone virtual! Orders accepted through April 9. Pickup from the Trees Atlanta office (225 Chester Ave) starting April 16.
- If you ordered plants, please check your email (including categories or spam folders) for important information about scheduling pickup timeslots.
- Orders with Local Delivery will be scheduled via email. We are sending out messages to help schedule a time that works best for you and our delivery route.
- Thank you everyone for the amazing support you showed up by supporting our annual Native Plant Sale — Virtual Edition!
Originally published on March 17, 2020
Our goal is to improve the well-being of our community. The mission of Trees Atlanta is in service of people’s health and welfare through the conservation of our urban forest. During this period of quickly evolving updates and guidance regarding COVID-19, we are taking steps to help “flatten the curve” by limiting social interactions for the well-being of our community.
Here are some steps that we are practicing moving forward until further notice:
- All group volunteer projects, programs, and events will be canceled (or rescheduled) through March 28. If you’ve registered for a project and have not received an update, please check our website for information.
- Our Calendar of Events will be updated with event statuses. Find your specific event and read the event description for information.
- We will suspend our youth education programs, including school visits and field trips, while local school systems are closed.
- We will continue working. We have taken steps to enable employees to safely continue working, including working from home or shifting to work outdoors with appropriate social distancing. Due to these accommodations, please understand that your voicemail or email to employees may take a bit longer to be answered.
- We discourage visitors to our facilities unless necessary for business continuity. If you have a need to come to our offices, please contact the staff member you are meeting in advance.
Help us maintain proper social distancing. Maintain a distance of 6 feet or greater from each other whether outdoors or indoors. Still uncertain about events or have further questions? Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll reply to your questions as quickly as possible.
Trees Atlanta is monitoring the status of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and putting into place prevention and preparedness measures with the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local, state, and federal agencies. Trees Atlanta is an organization that is deeply connected to our community, and we’ll keep you informed of any significant changes in our organization’s response.
In the coming days, we hope you keep in mind that the outdoors may offer a welcomed refuge while you self-quarantine. Work in your garden. Take a walk in the woods. Finally get around to removing the English ivy climbing up your tree. Sit outside and sketch. Above all, take care of yourself, wash your hands, and remember: it will be ok.