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Newborn receives Georgia Urban Forest Council grant

Celebrating the beginning of replanting the trees which were lost in the 2010 tornado and the receipt of a $4,825 grant from the Georgia Urban Forestry Council are (l-r) Beryl Budd, community forester sr. for the Georgia Forestry Commission; Tom Krieger, a member of Newborn's City Council; Mary Lynne Beckley, executive director of GUFC; Newborn Mayor Roger Sheridan; and Rusty Lee of Downey Trees Inc. This tree is a Trident maple and was planted near the stump of an old sycamore tree that was damaged and had to be taken down due to the storm.

Celebrating the beginning of replanting the trees which were lost in the 2010 tornado and the receipt of a $4,825 grant from the Georgia Urban Forestry Council are (l-r) Beryl Budd, community forester sr. for the Georgia Forestry Commission; Tom Krieger, a member of Newborn's City Council; Mary Lynne Beckley, executive director of GUFC; Newborn Mayor Roger Sheridan; and Rusty Lee of Downey Trees Inc. This tree is a Trident maple and was planted near the stump of an old sycamore tree that was damaged and had to be taken down due to the storm.

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Beryl Budd counts the rings on this sycamore stump to try and figure out how old it was. It was one of many casualties of last year's storm.

NEWBORN -- The city of Newborn is celebrating a grant award that will enable them to plant 48 new trees as they begin the long road to replace the hundreds of old trees that were lost in last year's tornado.

The $4,825 grant is given courtesy of the Georgia Urban Forest Council.

"These funds are from our Georgia ReLeaf program, which has been launched with original funding to GUFC from The Home Depot Foundation," said Mary Lynne Beckley, executive director, who was on hand for the check presentation Tuesday morning. "The Georgia ReLeaf Program is a tree planting initiative spearheaded by the Georgia Urban Forest Council in partnership with the Georgia Forestry Commission to help restore the urban forests in Georgia towns and cities that have been devastated by storms."

Newborn was hard hit in April 2010 when a tornado ripped through the town in the early morning hours, downing hundreds of huge, old trees which made the town so picturesque. Now, leaders are beginning the task of replanting and though many of the lost trees were at least a century old, Forester Beryl Bud with the Georgia Forestry Commission predicts good things to come from the new trees.

"We'll get some shade down here again," he said. "A lot of the older trees were lost in that storm, numbering in the hundreds," he said. "But with the help of the Tree Board, a strong replanting program and this grant, we'll get them back. This grant is a tremendous help, and we wouldn't have been able to plant these 48 trees without it."

The trees include a wide variety such as oaks, elms, maples and cypress. Budd and employees of the Newborn Public Works Department have planted 14 of the new trees already and are contracting to plant the remaining 34.

"Also, we'll be relocating some trees locally and on Arbor Day we'll be giving out free seedlings to residents," he said, adding that that effort will be sponsored by the Covington Service Guild and the city of Newborn.

Beckley the GUFC is always looking for volunteers and donors and suggested going to their website at gufc.org to learn more about the organization and the Georgia ReLeaf program.