This is especially good news in lieu of the city’s economic growth illustrating Sandy Springs’ commitment to staying green. Earlier this year, efforts to preserve trees resulted in the successful relocation of six hardwoods from a construction site to their new home at Hammond Park.
In conjunction with the University of Georgia Institute of Ecology Natural Resources Spatial Analysis Laboratory, the city recently completed a comprehensive tree canopy study that shows it has a tree canopy of 62 percent, an increase of 3 percent over a 2010 study and the highest it has been since the first study of this kind in 1991.
The current survey was conducted using aerial photography data from the National Agriculture Inventory Program, providing data that is 30 times more refined than information utilized in previous studies. In 1991, the city’s canopy cover was 59 percent. Ten years later the canopy registered at 54 percent, then 55 percent in 2005, 52 percent in 2008 and 59 percent in 2010. Urban tree canopy studies quantify the percentage of tree canopy coverage of a given area, relating directly to air quality, stormwater management, ecosystem balance and quality-of-life benefits.