SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Today, the Savannah Tree Foundation partnered with Gulfstream, Georgia Power and community volunteers, in recognition of Georgia Arbor Day, by planting 20 trees at the Islands YMCA.

Arbor Day is a day set aside for schools, civic clubs, and other organizations, as well as individuals, to reflect on the importance of trees. Georgia Arbor Day is in February because it is the ideal time to plant trees in the state.

Zoe Rinker, Executive Director of the Savannah Tree Foundation. (Photo taken by Hollie Lewis)

“I grew up here in Savannah and took our trees for granted. And so, when I moved away and realized not everybody had the canopy we have, it really kind of drove it home how lucky we are to have the trees we do,” said Zoe Rinker, Executive Director of the Savannah Tree Foundation. “So, it’s a day for me to celebrate the trees we have, what they do for us, you know, cooling the air, cleaning the air, helping with stormwater, helping with climate effects. You know, it’s a day to pause and be grateful and give back to nature.”

There were around 20 volunteers to help plant the Jane magnolias and bald cypress trees.

Tree planting volunteers. (Photo taken by Hollie Lewis)

Volunteer Ayden Weaver planted two trees at today’s event and said she hopes it will leave a better impact on the environment.

“Sustainability is a big part of my personality and what I like to do so, it’s important to me and it’s making it better for future generations,” said Weaver.

Samantha Norman also volunteered and said, “So, I’m a huge sustainability buff, that’s something that’s super important to me. I grew up keeping bees and so seeing like the impact of honeybees on the community was something that was huge.”

She continued, “I don’t know, I felt really inspired by nature and things like that and so any opportunity to give back in that way, to plant trees, to plant flowers to sort of beautify the environment is something that is super important to me.”

Gulfstream funded all of the trees and Georgia Power provided free magnolia and oak tree seedlings. 

Jayadev Pasupathy, pictured with his wife and young son, gets seedlings after planting trees at the Islands YMCA. (Photo taken by Hollie Lewis)

Gulfstream engineer Jayadev Pasupathy, who volunteered with his wife and infant son shared why he decided to bring his family.

“So I can get my son in the young ages and hopefully he sees us planting trees, wanting to save the planet in the future,” Pasupathy said.

For those who would like to get involved but missed today’s planting, there is another planting opportunity tomorrow at the Tybee YMCA.  For more information click here.

Jake Henry, Program Director of the Savannah Tree Foundation said, “There’s lots of ways to get involved, we always welcome donations and volunteers are how we operate. We’re a small team, so volunteers are always appreciated. We probably had almost 2 dozen folks here today, and we have educational opportunities in the warmer months as well.”