“Think Globally, Act Locally” by Joe Thomas



Think Globally, Act Locally
By Joe Thomas, Donor Relations Coordinator, Trees Atlanta

If you walk through Deepdene Park off of Ponce de Leon Avenue, you will find a white oak that has stood since before the Revolutionary War. It is easy to miss, partially hidden in its place on the side of the forested trail. But this tree is special. It has withstood storms, war, and development. It has seen neighbors and passersby come and go. It has watched the area around it change, fellow trees cut down, trails and roads built, homes erected and demolished. Through all of that, it has reached upward, called by something higher.

We are faced with a time of change, both locally and nationally. In many ways, this change is happening in seemingly conflicting ways. Here in Atlanta, the change is exciting and mostly positive – we are growing rapidly, coming out of a time of awkward adolescence and faced with a decision of what kind of grown-up city we want to be. Recent investments in transportation, design, and intelligent growth show us that we are a city destined to become more connected and technologically advanced. At Trees Atlanta, we are encouraged as City Hall shows renewed focus on urban ecology, with initiatives like the first Atlanta Food Forest. We are taking part in the urban planning process as partners, supporting the incorporation of natural features in the Atlanta City Design. And we are taking a larger role in giving communities the tools they need to advocate for responsible development in their neighborhoods. As a city, the questions we face now are not so much whether we will progress, but rather how quickly, and how we will ensure that the benefits of our progress are shared by all of Atlanta’s residents.