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Why We Counted Over 500 Trees in Piedmont Park

Seeing the leaves change color in Piedmont Park was the best part of my first Atlanta autumn. It’s that time once again, and now I know a bit more about those leaves and the trees they came from! You see, one of my primary roles as a graduate intern for Piedmont Park Conservancy is to help document every single tree in the Park. If you think that sounds like a lot of trees, just wait till you start counting!

How we counted over 500 trees in Piedmont Park

Morgan Gobeli, 2020 Graduate Public Relations Intern, Lead with Green

How Many Trees are in Piedmont Park?

All that counting isn’t just for fun though, it’s part of Piedmont Park’s mission to become a certified Arboretum. As part of the certification, all our trees must be documented. Our Community Involvement and Events Manager Erica Glasener, with the help of Trees Atlanta, has been instrumental in spearheading this ambitious project. To get it done, a small team of volunteers and I use a custom mapping program called ArcGIS Survey123 to input the GPS location of each tree, identify the species and size of the tree, and note any health issues it may have. So far, I have personally counted over 500 trees in this manner, and there’s still plenty more to go!

How we counted over 500 trees in Piedmont Park

Maintaining a Healthy Urban Forest

When it’s finished, not only will our map tell us how many trees we have, it will also tell us how many species we have in the Park. Having a wide range and distribution of species is important for a healthy urban forest, so this is great information! The map will also allow us to monitor tree health, and to track pest and disease outbreaks. We can even upload pictures of diseased leaves for a faster diagnosis! So, the next time you’re in the Park, take a moment to stop and appreciate all those beautiful trees. You can even give one a hug if you want (they won’t mind)!

If you would like to learn more about our Park projects, recognitions and environmental management, visit our Lead with Green page.

Author: Morgan Gobeli