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Trees spare county green
Grant, fees pay for plantings
Tree Planting 1
County workers plant one of 183 new trees at Central Park. - photo by Submitted
Central Park has 183 new trees, which planters finished installing earlier this week.

The additions to the park off Keith Bridge Road won’t cost taxpayers any green, though.

While the county grapples with budget woes, the funding for the trees came from a tree replacement fund and an outside grant, said spokeswoman Jodi Gardner.

The $20,000 Tree Legacy Grant from the Georgia Urban Forest Council was awarded to several Forsyth County groups and individuals.

The nonprofit organization gives grants for trees to help keep Georgia green.

The county also used money from its tree replacement fund, which was established in the late 1990s.

Gardner said money in the fund comes from local developers who are not able to meet the requirements of the county’s tree ordinance, which requires developers to save or replace trees or add new landscaping on their properties.

Central Park received 83 trees last year through the fund. It was selected again this year to complete the park plan.

“Trees in this area were part of the original landscaping design, but had to be removed from the project due to budgetary restraints,” Gardner said.

Grant stipulations require long-term maintenance for the trees, which will be provided by volunteers from Forsyth County Master Gardeners, Keep Forsyth County Beautiful and Parks and Recreation staff.

County Arborist Greg Wallace said the trees must be monitored for signs of disease or drought.

Among the plantings are 84 willow oaks, 75 pines, 20 red maples and four Crepe myrtles. The types were selected as good matches for the roadside and parking lot locations.

“They’re just good performers in urban environments,” said Wallace, adding that some trees may grow as tall as 40 feet within several years.

The county hopes to use remaining money in the tree replacement fund to add trees to other local parks before the end of winter.

“Anything we do, put in dollar-wise will come from that fund,” Wallace said. “It’s not tax dollars.”