The Atlanta City Council approved a contract that will allow the non-profit Trees Atlanta to plant 4,000 trees throughout the city.
The measure also calls for programs to educate the public about the importance of trees through services such as guided tree walks, pruning classes, classroom instruction and an urban forest certification program.
The city will pay Trees Atlanta up to $912,250 to plant and maintain the trees. The planting will begin in the next few days and all trees are to be planted by April 15, 2017. The city of Atlanta claims the densest tree canopy in the country at 47.9 percent, but of course the area varies.
In those areas where the tree canopy is less than 48 percent, Trees Atlanta will add about 3,400 trees. The remaining 600 will be divided among the 12 council districts and planted in recommended areas.
The types of trees that will be planted have not been specified, although the contract says each will be a “15-gallon tree.” Trees Atlanta will be responsible for caring for the trees for two years and replacing any that die. Whether the city or Trees Atlanta pays for the replacement will depend on the circumstances of a tree’s death.
The city will use money from its Tree Trust Fund, which contains fees collected from developers and homeowners who have trees cut down on private property.
Trees Atlanta was founded in 1985 and says it has planted 100,000 trees. Its goal is to protect and improve Atlanta’s urban forest.