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Trees Atlanta Seeks to Increase Visibility of Atlanta’s Tree Canopy using Google Maps

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Associate Director of CGIS at Georgia Tech, Tony Giarrusso, to share how the study is helping the City of Atlanta restore and conserve the its urban tree canopy at Speaker Series event.

Atlanta, Georgia – November 18, 2015 – Google Community Grants Fund of Tides Foundation has awarded a $20,000 grant to Trees Atlanta to work with the Center for Geographic Information Systems (CGIS) at Georgia Tech to increase the visibility of a recently completed tree canopy assessment for the City of Atlanta.

On Thursday, December 3rd, Tony Giarrusso, Senior Research Scientist and Associate Director of CGIS at Georgia Tech, will be sharing the study’s findings and how the new Google Maps are helping the City of Atlanta and Trees Atlanta restore and conserve the city’s urban tree canopy. The Speaker Series event will take place at the Trees Atlanta TreeHouse, 112 Krog Street NE, Suite 7, Atlanta, GA 30307 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM.

Of the top ten counties in the southeastern United States losing tree canopy to development, three are located in metro Atlanta – Gwinnett, Fulton, and Cobb. Working hard toward a solution, Trees Atlanta’s primary goals are to conserve existing trees, replace trees lost to development, protect greenspace areas and educate the community regarding the many benefits of trees.

In 2014, CGIS completed the first urban tree canopy assessment for the City of Atlanta. This assessment was a huge asset because it provides baseline data for our city’s tree canopy (currently at 48% cover) and it also helps guide decisions on planting sites and areas for conservation. Atlanta is among the top cities as measured by tree canopy coverage; however, trends in tree removal and development signal an urgency to actively protect the canopy.
Thanks to the generosity of Google Community Grant Fund of Tides Foundation this study data is now available to the public via an online tool built on the Google Maps platform. Trees Atlanta has created a community-based program, called “Canopy Conversations”, focused on the canopy coverage data of Atlanta’s neighborhoods. The user-friendly maps will be used to educate more people and influence planting and conservation decisions. In addition to tree planting, Trees Atlanta will work with residents to celebrate the unique trees in their communities and recommend strategies on how to work with developers and the city to protect urban trees.

Furthermore, Trees Atlanta expanding STEM offerings for middle and high school students will be enhanced with access to this online tool and canopy data. These Google Maps will further demonstrate the role technology can play in helping to make decisions about our tree canopy.

For more details on the Speaker Series event click here.

To view the Google Maps click here.

About Tides Foundation
Since 1976, Tides Foundation has worked with innovative partners to build a world of shared prosperity and social justice, founded on equality and human rights, a sustainable environment, healthy individuals and communities, and quality education. For more information about Tides Foundation visit www.tides.org.

About The Center for Geographic Information Systems (CGIS) at Georgia Tech
The Center for Geographic Information Systems at Georgia Tech has been a leader in the development and application of geo-spatial technologies for more than 15 years. With a strong track record of interdisciplinary research collaborations at Georgia Tech and across the nation, the Center has helped local, state, and national governments, not-for-profits, and private enterprises in planning, maintaining, and evaluating critical infrastructure for sustainable urban growth. For more information about CGIS at Georgia Tech visit www.cgis.gatech.edu or call 404-385-0900.

About Trees Atlanta
Trees Atlanta is a nationally recognized citizens group that protects and improves Atlanta’s urban forest by planting, conserving, and educating. Since 1985, Trees Atlanta has planted and distributed more than 107,000 trees. Trees Atlanta has an active volunteer corps of 4,500 citizens. For more information about Trees Atlanta, visit www.treesatlanta.org or call 404-522-4097.

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