FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 19, 2020
Tree plantings and commemorative events are taking place across the state this month, as communities mark Georgia’s Arbor Day 2020. Governor Brian Kemp signed a proclamation declaring Friday, February 21, Arbor Day in Georgia, which is always celebrated on the third Friday in February. Arbor Day is observed nationally in April, but is celebrated earlier in Georgia during the ideal winter planting season.
“Whether we live in an urban, suburban or rural area, our lives are made better by trees,” said Georgia Forestry Commission Director Chuck Williams. “Not only do they look beautiful and provide homes for wildlife and places for recreation and respite, they clean our air and water, provide essential products, and make Georgia the number one forestry state in the nation.”
Georgia’s Arbor Day proclamation urges citizens to “plant trees, thus leaving a legacy for present and future generations.” A state celebration in Macon on February 12 honored cities, campuses and power companies throughout Georgia for their achievements promoting urban canopies. A special celebration will be held on Friday, February 21 at 10 a.m. in Dunwoody, as national Arbor Day Foundation President Dan Lambe joins Georgia Forestry Commission Director Chuck Williams and local dignitaries for a park tree planting and tree sale.
“We view Arbor Day as a time to recognize the importance of all tree planting efforts in our state,” Williams said. Williams noted that Georgia’s 24.5 million acres of mostly privately-owned forestland grows 64 cubic feet – or two tons – of wood per second! As documented in the “2018 Economic Benefits of Forestry in Georgia” report provided by the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, the state’s forest industry supports more than 148,000 jobs in Georgia. Total economic activity generated by the state’s forest industry rose to $36.2 billion between 2017 and 2018, with additional gains recorded in employment and wages and salaries. Urban and community forestry contributes more than $4 billion to our state’s economy and provides employment for more than 46,000 people. In addition, a University of Georgia study showed Georgia’s forests provide more than $37 billion in ecological services annually, supplying the state with clean water, clean air, wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities.
For information about Arbor Day events, planting trees, and services of the Georgia Forestry Commission, visit GaTrees.org.