Tips Tree Planting: Georgia ReLeaf Program – Bringing Trees to Disadvantaged Communities

Welcome to Tips Tree Planting, where we believe in the power of trees to transform communities and promote environmental justice. Today, we want to introduce you to an incredible program called Georgia ReLeaf, which aims to bring the benefits of trees to disadvantaged communities in Georgia. In partnership with the Georgia Tree Council and the Georgia Forestry Commission, the USDA Forest Service has allocated funding to support tree planting and tree-giveaway projects. Let’s dive into the details!

Funding Opportunities for Tree Planting and Giveaways

The Georgia ReLeaf program provides funding to municipalities, government agencies, non-profits, and educational institutions in Georgia. The focus is on projects that benefit disadvantaged communities with low tree canopy and promote environmental justice. Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act and the Community Forestry Assistance Act of the 1990 Farm Bill, the USDA Forest Service has allocated funds to the Georgia Forestry Commission for statewide distribution.

Recent Georgia ReLeaf Projects

We’re proud to share that the Georgia Tree Council has already awarded $121,049 in funding to various projects across the state. Some of the recipients include the Savannah Tree Foundation, Chatham County, Colquitt, Winterville, City of Dublin, Tifton, Rome, Lawrenceville, and many more. These projects are making a real difference in improving the tree canopy and quality of life for residents in these communities.

Guidelines and Objectives of Georgia ReLeaf

If you’re interested in applying for Georgia ReLeaf funding, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the program’s guidelines. The objectives of the program are as follows:

  1. Contribute to tree equity in disadvantaged communities.
  2. Improve the environmental, economic, and social health of Georgia communities.
  3. Help sustain health and diversity in Georgia’s community forests.
  4. Improve planning efforts of city administrators, municipal tree departments, and tree boards.
  5. Increase environmental and health benefits to combat the effects of climate change.

Tree Planting Projects and Tree Giveaway Events

Projects submitted to the Georgia ReLeaf program can fall into two categories: tree planting projects and tree giveaway events. Let’s take a closer look at the criteria for each:

Tree Planting Projects

  1. Projects must take place within city/county limits or boundaries, such as parks, schools, playgrounds, greenspaces, business districts, and more.
  2. A tree planting site plan and map using aerial photography or GIS must be provided.
  3. A 3-year maintenance plan should be included.
  4. Endorsement from the local government or the Department of Transportation is required.

Tree Giveaway Projects

  1. Projects involve distributing containerized trees to homeowners and residents.
  2. Recipients’ locations for tree planting should be documented using zip codes, addresses, or census tracts.
  3. Educational materials about tree care should be distributed along with the trees.
  4. A plan for the distribution of any remaining trees after the initial event must be developed.

Making a Positive Impact on Disadvantaged Communities

At the heart of the Georgia ReLeaf program is a commitment to serving disadvantaged communities. By using the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST), census tracts that are overburdened by climate change, pollution, or other factors can be identified. These communities are considered disadvantaged because they face multiple burdens and lack access to the benefits of trees. By focusing on such communities, Georgia ReLeaf aims to bring equity and improve their quality of life.

Get Involved and Learn More

If you want to learn more about the importance of trees in every community and how to determine a community’s tree equity score, visit Tips Tree Planting. We have a wealth of information to guide you in your tree planting journey.

Remember, the Georgia ReLeaf program plays a crucial role in bringing trees to disadvantaged communities, but it also relies on passionate individuals like you to make a difference. Together we can create greener, healthier, and more equitable communities in Georgia.

Plant a tree, plant hope, and join us in making a positive impact through the Georgia ReLeaf program!

Georgia ReLeaf
Tree Planting