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Atlanta tries new tactic to remain ‘City in a Forest’

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New ordinance will allow the city to purchase forested land for future preservation

Atlanta’s tree canopy, as seen from Sandy Springs.
Atlanta’s tree canopy, as seen from Sandy Springs.
City Data

Seen from far away, the skyline of Atlanta is surrounded by a sea of green — treetops enveloping the metro.

While rankings often place Atlanta atop lists of cities with the greatest tree cover in the country, it seems that with each new development, more and more trees are lost. The New York Times even noted that the iconic look of Atlanta is being threatened with the latest wave of building.

Now, the Atlanta City Council is exploring new ways to ensure the preservation of our green reputation.

The cityscape, from Stone Mountain.
Curbed Atlanta

The AJC reports that a new ordinance has been passed allowing for the city to purchase forested acres for future preservation.

Money will come from the existing “Tree Trust Fund,” which has predominately been used for planting new trees in the last few years. The fund is comprised of revenues generated from property owners who remove healthy trees in the city.

The measure was spearheaded by the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, with the Department of Planning and Community Development, the Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Atlanta Canopy Alliance all throwing in their support.

Potential properties will go through a vetting process before being purchased. Once acquired, the forested land will be preserved and made available for public access.