Chatham County is home to trees that predate the founding of Georgia. Savannah Tree Foundation works to protect these historic trees and to preserve public green spaces. By protecting the trees we have, we can maintain our unique urban forest for generations to come.
The most effective way to protect our trees is through a robust tree ordinance. A tree ordinance is a set of legal rules that must be followed in regards to trees, especially during new development and construction. A strong tree ordinance maintains a high standard of trees and greenspace to maintain our urban forest over time.
With its nine municipalities, Chatham County has a patchwork of tree ordinances. Savannah Tree Foundation works with each municipality to improve and enforce ordinances throughout the county. Check out your municipal code to see what tree ordinance applies to your property!
In 1985, the Savannah Tree Foundation established and took on a 6,804 square foot environmental easement surrounding the Candler Oak. Named for the original Candler Hospital building, this majestic tree is thought to be over 300 years old and has a trunk circumference of 17 feet. At the time the easement was created, asphalt from the adjacent parking lot encircled the tree and cars parked on its root system. Arborists gave the tree 20 years to live. Forty-five years later, the tree is thriving under Savannah Tree Foundation’s care: the asphalt has been removed, the tree strategically pruned, and the easement fenced off. With continued care, the tree looks forward to several more decades bringing shade, clean air, and history to our downtown.
The Candler Oak’s Environmental easement is just one way the Savannah Tree
Foundation has used advocacy and creative solutions to protect historically and
culturally significant trees throughout Chatham County. Do you want to see a unique tree protected? Let us know!
BACON PARK FOREST
PUBLIC GREEN SPACE
Located in the southeastern corner of Savannah, Bacon Forest Park is the City’s
last undeveloped urban forest–approximately 48-acres of maritime forest nestled between residential neighborhoods and sports complexes. When the site was proposed as a new soccer complex in 1993, the Savannah Tree Foundation stepped in and successfully petitioned the City to preserve Bacon Park Forest as a passive-use, conservation park. In the intervening years, the Foundation has worked with design professionals and other stakeholders to create a plan for a trail system and education facilities on site. While the plan has not yet been adopted by the City, we continue to work with allies to promote and fund the creation of Savannah’s first conservation park.
The Savannah Tree Foundation is dedicated to creating and improving public green spaces throughout Chatham County. From planting trees at Lake Mayer to advocating for new community parks such as Bacon Park Forest, we know that accessible outdoor space is crucial!