City re­ceives $2K grant to plant trees

The Covington News - - Front page - DANIELLE EVER­SON deverson@cov­news.com

The city of Por­terdale looks to make three of their parks greener by plant­ing trees with money from a grant.

The city re­ceived a $2,400 grant from the 2012 “Mak­ing the Shade Pro­gram.” Ac­cord­ing to the Ge­or­gia Forestry Com­mis­sion web­site, the pro­gram was started to help cre­ate health­ier, shaded play­ground ar­eas on el­e­men­tary school cam­puses in Ge­or­gia.

By plant­ing trees on play­grounds, the pro­gram hopes to re­duce the sur­face tem­per­a­tures of school yards and on play­ground equip­ment, re­duce ul­tra­vi­o­let ra­di­a­tion and de­crease tem­per­a­tures on the play­ground in or­der to im­prove air qual­ity and re­duce the risk for chil­dren with asthma and other lung re­lated

is­sues. The pro­gram also lists sev­eral other ben­e­fits of plant­ing trees on play­grounds and in com­mu­ni­ties.

Por­terdale city man­ager Bob Thomson said the city was ex­cited to re­ceive the grant. He said the city would use the money from the grant to pur­chase trees for three of the city’s pocket parks lo­cated on Elm, Pine and Hem­lock streets. He said the trees planted at the parks would help re­duce some child­hood health is- sues.

“Trees will help us make the parks more at­trac­tive to kids and their fam­i­lies, which will help chil­dren stay fit and fight child­hood obe­sity,” he said.

Thomson said the city ex­pects the trees to be planted some time this fall. He said the city’s pocket parks have ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tems to en­sure they stay healthy and grow tall. Thomson said the city will soon de­cide which types of trees would be best for each park.

“We ex­pect to pur­chase trees of a 3-4 inch caliper; the species will be cho­sen based on Mr. Budd’s ad- vice. Our Tree Board chair Ms. Deanna Kelly will also as­sist with choos­ing the best trees for the dif­fer­ent parks,” Thomson said.

Sus­tain­able Community Forester Beryl Budd said even though the tree grant is usu­ally used for plant­ing trees at el­e­men­tary schools, Por­terdale re­ceived the grant be­cause of its small pocket parks. He said he en­joyed help­ing com­mu­ni­ties and schools with the pro­gram.

“I en­joy work­ing with com­mu­ni­ties to plant trees and in­crease tree canopy and these Mak­ing the Shade projects bring part­ners to­gether to make it hap­pen. A lot of his­tory is in Por­terdale and the streets are named af­ter trees so it will make a great Tree City,” Budd said.

Thomson said he was thank­ful for Budd’s as­sis­tance to the city in help­ing them re­ceive the grant. He said the city is look­ing for­ward to plant­ing the trees and im­prov­ing their play­grounds.

“We’re very grate­ful to Beryl Budd, our state community forester, for mak­ing us aware of the grant and as­sist­ing us through this process,” Thomson said.

“We’re ex­cited and we can’t wait un­til we get the trees to the play­grounds.”

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