Alpharetta Arboretum Inc. receiving state award

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Alpharetta Arboretum Inc. will be recognized with the Outstanding Civic Organization for 2008 Award from the Georgia Urban Forest Council (GUFC) during the 18th annual GUFC Conference and Awards program, Oct. 29-31, in Augusta.

The GUFC is the preeminent non-profit organization in the state with a mission to sustain Georgia's green legacy by helping communities grow healthy trees. Amanda Day, grants administrator for the City of Alpharetta, submitted the application for the award.

Julie Hogg, president of Alpharetta Arboretum, said, “We are a very civic-minded organization and this award sums up our mission statement and speaks to the heart of what we do. It also establishes our reputation, provides a great calling card and is a tremendous accomplishment, as our organization just completed our first project Sept. 27.”

“Alpharetta is known for many things, but our tree canopy is what makes us the lush community we are. It is something our citizens take great pride in, and we work hard to preserve and protect it through careful planning and public policy,” said Alpharetta Mayor Arthur Letchas.

“Alpharetta Arboretum Inc. added an education component to the city’s trees through the creation of the Alpharetta Arboretum at Wills Park, which will ensure that current and future generations understand and appreciate the importance of trees in our community and will do their part to protect them and our environment," the mayor said. "For that, and so much more, the City of Alpharetta was proud to nominate Alpharetta Arboretum, Inc. as the 2008 Outstanding Civic Organization through the 18th Annual Georgia Urban Forest Council Awards Program.”

When Letchas initiated the city’s quest to “go green,” a group of city residents, many of whom are members of the Alpharetta Tree Commission, stepped up to the challenge. In addition to creating an environmentally-friendly city, these individuals wanted to create a group capable of proving the City of Alpharetta worthy of its long-standing designation as a Tree City USA.

In early 2008, Alpharetta Arboretum, Inc. was founded “to enrich the community by connecting people to the natural environment through the preservation and stewardship of places of botanical interest, through horticultural demonstration, and through ecological education.”

As president of Alpharetta Arboretum Inc., Hogg has tremendous leadership experience having worked off and on in the “green” industry over the past decade. She is enrolled as an adult college student, studying Public Horticulture at the University of Tennessee, and has access to cutting-edge environmental research.

Janet Rodgers, president and CEO of the Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau and Alpharetta Arboretum Inc. board member, said "it's great to partner organizations such as the CVB and Alpharetta Arboretum Inc., to create products that can be used by visitors to the City and that also give back and beautify the community.”

Members of the current Alpharetta Arboretum Inc. board of directors, established in Spring 2008, include: Julie Hogg, Janet Rodgers, Jim Paine, Cheryl Rand, Kristina Eicher and David Cox. Jeff Scroggin worked pro bono to write the organization’s by-laws and set up all the legal aspects of the incorporation.

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