SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — The Downtown Garden Club of Savannah (DGC) hosted a dedication ceremony Tuesday for new trees planted at the corner of Liberty and Drayton Streets.
Through their partnership with the Savannah Tree Foundation, the DGC was able to plant five oak trees after hosting their fundraiser event, Arboretum, which helped raise more than $20,000 for more green space in the area.
“It’s incredibly important to replace our tree canopy in Savannah,” Savannah Tree Foundation Field Manager Jake Henry told WSAV NOW.
“It’s always something that’s aging, we’re always losing trees,” he added. “It’s so important to continue replanting. Especially with this project, we actually took up concrete and planted new trees. So we’re not only replacing, we’re creating an entirely new green space.”
The Savannah Tree Foundation operates across all of Chatham County and plants hundreds of trees each year.
District 4 Alderman Nick Palumbo said the new additions are expected to be a part of the downtown tree canopy for the next 100 years.
“These will quickly grow into the next canopy trees,” Palumbo said. “These oaks will be here for the next century. So it’s awesome to see the next generation keep it going.”
“The City of Savannah has a tree fund and we’re looking forward to some ambitious proposals in the next year,” he added. “Especially fall, because it’s tree planting time. We’re looking at how to get tree equity and spread the forest city.”
The DGC began in 1969 as a group of neighbors in Savannah’s Historic District who shared a passion for gardening and community service. Now, they’re partnering with donors to make the city greener.
“It increases property values, it helps lower energy costs, it calms traffic, they’re good-looking, and they help your mental health,” he said. “So it’s important for us to keep it going as much as we can.”
Donors for the most recent trees include Treylor Park and Hitch, Turner, Pinckney and Savage, Colony Bank, Savoy Society, Crystal Nails and The Parker Companies.
“This particular area of Drayton was a concrete jungle and we are hoping to jumpstart interest in replacing the tree canopy to areas Downtown that are barren,” Arboretum Fundraising Chair Kathryn Murph said.
“We want to continue beautifying the district,” Murph added. “We do a different fundraiser every year. It helps the air quality and it also helps the heat, and that’s because of the tree canopy.”