Upstate: Saving the Hemlocks!
June 19 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
On Tuesday, June 19, the Native Plant Society will sponsor a special presentation by Donna Shearer, founder and chairman of Save Georgia’s Hemlocks. It will provide
- an overview of the importance of the hemlocks,
- the invasive insect that’s killing them,
- the options that property owners have for saving their trees, and
- how volunteers can help save trees on our public lands.
There will also be time to address individuals’ questions about what to do for their own trees.
America’s hemlocks are in danger of almost total extinction due to a rapidly spreading infestation of the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), an invasive insect from Asia with no local natural predator. Hemlock stands are of vital importance to wildlife, water and air quality, local economy, and basic quality of life, and their loss would create problems of enormous scope and dire consequences.
Save Georgia’s Hemlocks (SGH) is a rapidly growing grassroots organization of energetic volunteers with diverse backgrounds, interests, ages, and origins, united by a common purpose: To save the hemlocks!
Over the past 9 years, SGH has helped thousands of property owners and managers save tens of thousands of hemlocks. In 2012 the organization formed a partnership with the U.S. Forest Service to treat hemlocks on the National Forest, and in 2013 they began working with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to save the trees in state parks and wildlife management areas.
So far, SGH has handled almost 9,000 calls on its nationwide Hemlock Help Line, conducted almost 400 classes and presentations, trained 375 Facilitators, and treated or assisted property owners and public land managers to treat 30,000 hemlocks.
It is the vision of SGH that through preservation, conservation, and restoration, there will be a healthy population of hemlocks for future generations — come and learn how you can help save this beautiful and valuable natural resource!
The meeting begins at 7:00; come at 6:30 for refreshments and socializing.
When she and her husband Mark moved to Dahlonega in 2002, Atlanta native Donna Shearer realized her childhood dream — living in a log cabin in the mountains. With their home situated in a dense hemlock grove along a trout stream, it was particularly troubling when in 2005 they discovered their evergreen sanctuary was threatened by an infestation of the hemlock woolly adelgid. Rather than give up, they began researching the hemlock problem and treating the trees on their own property. The successful results motivated Donna to share the benefit of their knowledge and experience with others, and in 2009 she and a small group of volunteers founded Save Georgia’s Hemlocks.
Donna and SGH were honored for their hemlock conservation efforts as recipients of the 2012 Cox Conserves Heroes award, which carried with it a $10,000 grant the organization is using to continue and increase its educational and charitable service outreach.