“We’re very proud of the milestone,” said Connie Veates, co-executive director. “We feel like it’s so good for the city and the community, and we feel like we’re really making a difference to the canopy of the forest in Atlanta.”
Said Greg Levine, co-executive director, “It’s really great to see that we are getting more trees in the ground … and growing as an organization.”
The 100,000th tree will be a white oak, one of Georgia’s native trees. It will be planted in the park by the Greystone event facility, which is where the ball will be held.
The event will also include live music by Blair Crimmins and the Hookers, a farm-to-table buffet, a silent auction and the presentation of the first Tree Champions Awards.
“We’ll be recognizing the corporation that we think has been the biggest tree champion this year as well as an individual, a community leader and a volunteer,” Veates said. “We’d really like to recognize, hopefully on a yearly basis, those groups and individuals that have been so important to help us accomplish the mission of Trees Atlanta.”
Levine said the ball will be a chance to acknowledge all the time and service of Trees Atlanta volunteers.
The organization has an active corps of 4,500 volunteers. During the 2012-13 planting season, volunteers provided more than 17,919 hours of service and planted 2,216 trees.
“I’ve been with Trees Atlanta for 18 or 19 years. I started off as a volunteer,” Levine said. “I feel like without the volunteers, we would not be who we are today.”
Trees Atlanta was founded in 1985 by Central Atlanta Progress, the Atlanta Commissioner of Parks and the Junior League of Atlanta to initially improve the tree canopy in downtown Atlanta.
“They realized that the canopy was actually shrinking in Atlanta … and they decided to have an organization dedicated to not only planting trees but conserving them,” Veates said.
Over the years, Trees Atlanta expanded its focus from downtown and currently plants trees throughout the entire metro area, mainly inside the Interstate 285. The organization also offers educational programs for children and adults about the importance of trees.
If you go:
What: The Root Ball
Benefits: Trees Atlanta
When: March 27, 7 to 10 p.m.
Where: Greystone in Piedmont Park, 400 Park Drive, Midtown
Cost: Tickets start at $100