How Have ARRA Stimulus Funds Impacted an Individual or Business?

City of Fargo - Sub Recipient

Grant: Enhanced Fuels Management
Location: Fargo, GA
Activity: Fire breaks

Comments: "This was a very good program. If this money was not available, the negative impact would be on community safety. This area was evacuated twice during the 07 fires. Because of the railroads, this area is at very high risk. The railroads put off sparks that create wild fires. Trees are a major source of income for Fargo. Able to attack fires more successfully by putting barriers in place with ARRA funds. Continuous fuels management is critical. Do not want another 07 incident. This program helps firefighters, community, etc..."

Harold Driggers - Sub Recipient

Grant: Dixon Memorial Forest
Location: Waycross, GA
Activity: Tree planting

Comments: If the state hadn't planted any trees, Mr. Driggers would not have been able to purchase any planting equipment. "The bank wouldn't have loaned me the money if I didn't have a contract with the state to show them." The more employees Ambassador (employment agency used by Mr. Driggers) gains, the lower the workers comp rates are. Mr. Driggers was able to employ six individuals and put them to work through the ARRA funds. "ARRA funds gave confidence in the community and ensured them that there were jobs." Put jobs back in the communities. "Confidence in the economy was built due to stimulus funds." Mr. Driggers is now running his uncle's business and has half the number of employees his uncle had.

Limestone RC&D - Sub Recipient

Grant: Georgia's Growing Green
Location: Calhoun, GA
Activity: Tree planting

Comments: Gordon County has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state. Stimulus funds helped the nursery, which provided 201 trees. "Trees planted with stimulus funds will have long term benefits for the community." Long term benefits include air quality and shade. There was "not a single tree on school property" before ARRA came along. Stimulus funds "replaced the trees lost in Rome." "A lot of complaints about stimulus, but no complaints about tree stimulus money here."

Chestnut Forestry - Sub Recipient

Grant: Regional Longleaf
Location: Gaylesville, AL
Activity: Consultant - Tree planting

Comments: Mr. Tim Chestnut runs a small independent business. The stimulus funds were a help to his economy. "Small businesses are struggling to stay in business."

City of Jefferson - Sub Recipient

Grant: Georgia's Growing Green
Location: Jefferson, GA
Activity: Tree planting throughout the city

Comments: The city arborist told a story about an elderly lady on Lawrenceville Street in Jefferson who sits on her front porch every afternoon enjoying the outdoors but had no shade to protect her from the heat. As a result of the stimulus grant, two American elms were planted in her complex that will now provide shade for her and her neighbors. In another subdivision, the landowners petitioned for trees to be planted in the right of way entrance into their subdivision because there were no trees there. As a result of their request, several maples were planted and the citizens of the community have expressed a desire to become involved in future plantings in their neighborhood.

The Oliva Company - Sub Recipient

Grant: Regional Longleaf
Location: Thomasville, GA
Activity: Longleaf pine planting

Comments: This 3800 acre tract suffered severe damage from the Mother's Day 2007 tornado. Mr. Bennett, the consulting forester, showed us the path the tornado took through his client's property. Pictures were taken in both directions showing the path, which was wider than the length of a football field. He mentioned that over 1100 acres were affected in that particular area of the county. A photo showing a tree stump that measured over 30" was also taken - and Mr. Bennett said that was typical of the timber destroyed. Over 57 acres (the most allowed under this contract) was replanted in longleaf pines. This area of Georgia has some of the oldest longleaf pine forests in the region. The manager of the property said the storm moved through the area at 70 mph and by the time he got outside to see it, it had already passed and the devastation was done. They were very appreciative that the stimulus funds could help them replace some of the longleaf that had been damaged by the tornado.

Steve Welch - Sub Recipient

Grant: Cogongrass & Invasive Species Eradication
Location: Jefferson/Glascock Counties
Activity: Privet eradication

Comments: Mr. Welch met a GFC ARRA forester (Frank Riley) on a bus after attending a landowner field day. As they talked, the ARRA forester began to tell Mr. Welch about the ARRA invasive species grant. The forester directed him to the website where he then filled out the application and was later selected into the program. Mr. Welch is very proactive in managing his family's land and seeks out the various programs available to landowners. Mr. Welch interviewed several vendors to eradicate the privet in his planted pines and ended up selecting the vendor that gave him the best bang for his buck. An aerial herbicide application was done on his property.

Tom McConnell - Sub Recipient

Grant: Cogongrass & Invasive Species Eradication
Location: Gwinnett County
Activity: Privet eradication

Comments: Mr. McConnell's property is surrounded by urban sprawl in Gwinnett County. He is very interested in managing his land to promote wildlife habitat. He sprayed privet that was found throughout his property along river banks, pines and his pond with a backpack sprayer. He is working hard to get rid of the privet and promote native plants on his property. He wants to take care of what he has so future generations can enjoy it in areas where natural forests are now a rarity.

Angie Stober - Sub Recipient

Grant: Cogongrass & Invasive Species Eradication
Location: Carroll County
Activity: Herbicide treatment for privet on family farm

Comments: "Over the last 15 years Chinese Privet has become an ever increasing invasive plant on our family's farm. Up until now, we have tried to control the spread on our own with little success. The Invasive Species Eradication Project by GFC provided us with the funds to make significant progress in ridding our forest, boundary lines and stream corridors of privet."

James Webb - Sub Recipient

Grant: Cogongrass & Invasive Species Eradication
Location: Heard County
Activity: Herbicide treatment for privet on family property

Comments: "Last fall we started clearing privet head high and so thick you couldn't see through it from the pecan orchard on the property that has been in our family for over 100 years. In the middle of clearing, I got a phone call from GFC about the Invasive Plant Control program that would cover the cost of treating 25 acres of my privet. Once I knew I had been approved for the money, we decided to treat the privet in an area adjacent to the orchard with privet up to 20 feet high and trunks 6 inches in diameter that had become impenetrable. Although this program only covered 25 acres, as I watched the skidder rolling through the privet and the spray falling over the leaves, I decided to spray it all in the creek bottom (39 acres). Weeks later the privet is brown and falling towards the ground. The tall pines and hardwoods including pecans are alive and will greatly benefit from less competition. Next year there will be a 2nd treatment to kill any remaining privet. This program is a success!"