For the 37th consecutive year Avondale Estates has been named a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation. There are approximately 150 Tree Cities in Georgia and more than 3,500 in the country. Avondale Estates is one of the three oldest Tree Cities in the state, and one of the few receiving the honor in DeKalb County.
The honor, which was recently announced for Georgia cities because of the state’s earlier Arbor Day, is given to cities which demonstrate a commitment to the care and management of their trees. The Tree City USA program, administered by the Arbor Day Foundation in Nebraska, provides the framework for community forestry management for cities across America that meet certain requirements. These requirements include the establishment of a tree board or department, a community tree ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
While COVID-19 has led to the cancellation of Avondale Estates’ annual Arbor Day celebration, officials are hopeful that conditions will allow for a more robust and meaningful celebration later this year. In conjunction with this, the Avondale Estates Garden Club will dedicate the memorial trees in remembrance of members who have passed away. The City’s annual tree planting, which is coordinated by Stephany Cross and the Tree Board each fall with volunteers planting more than 50 trees, was also impeded by the pandemic but is on track to resume in 2021. Additionally, the enjoyable and educational Tree Walk event coordinated and hosted by the Avondale Estates Garden Club did not happen in 2020.
“These events are a part of the City’s tradition and identity and are greatly missed,” City Manager Patrick Bryant said. “It is because of the efforts of these volunteers that the City has been able to preserve and add to its canopy year after year. In addition to making the City look more attractive, these environmentally friendly efforts help improve air quality and contribute to improving the overall health of the community.”
In honor of Arbor Day and the Tree City USA recognition, two maples have been planted on Dartmouth. Also the Gardeners for a Common Good, a group of gardening enthusiasts who volunteer their time to help maintain and enhance the green spaces around the City, have organized the planting of a large-scale willow oak tree at the entrance of Willis Park replacing a signature tree that died. The new tree was generously donated by Avondale Estates resident Davis Dunbar, owner of Redbone Nurseries, LLC, a wholesale tree and shrub nursery. It will be installed as soon as weather permits.