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Foundation creates 'legacy of trees'
Rooted in the community
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Two young volunteers prepare to plant a tree at Henderson Park. - photo by Photo provided.

The Coastal Bryan Tree Foundation Root Ball
Saturday, May 7
7–10 p.m.
Richmond Hill City Center
Featuring a silent auction, cocktails, dinner, and entertainment by
Ben Tucker Jazz Trio

The name of the game for Coastal Bryan Tree Foundation is planting, promoting and protecting trees in our communities.

They reach that goal through diverse means.

Since their inception in 2001, originally as an outreach project of the Richmond Hill-Bryan County Chamber of Commerce, the group has planted 600 new trees all over the county.

They have helped to implement tree ordinances in Richmond Hill and Bryan County that establish per-acre tree quotas for land development, as well as established a scholarship fund for students seeking a college degree in an environmentally-related field. 

Through their Project Learning Tree, the foundation sends local teachers to the University of Georgia’s Mary Kahrs Warnell Forest Education Center in Guyton for environmental education.

“They gather very valuable information up there and take it back and use it in their classrooms,” said Wendy Bolton, Coastal Bryan Tree Foundation president.

For a group consisting of just nine members, Bolton believes they have made quite an impact.

“We are just this little, tiny group of people and we’ve really done a lot, amazingly so, and for people to think something like ‘well if I don’t recycle, it’s not a big deal because I’m just one person,’ that’s not true,” said Bolton.

Each year, Coastal Bryan Tree Foundation holds a major planting event and asks the community to volunteer their time to help.

Bolton said she has been pleased with the turnout at these events and estimated that at least 800 people have volunteered with CBTF over the years.

“I think it’s really important for us to be good stewards of the environment,” she said. “We are so fortunate to live in a community that has seen growth and is thriving, but … you can’t have growth and not lose trees, and maybe the 600 that we planted back have sort of offset those that we lost along the way.”

The Coastal Bryan Tree Foundation’s bi-annual Root Ball will take place on May 7 from 7-10 p.m. at Richmond Hill City Center. It is the major fundraiser for the non-profit organization.

“It’s going to be a blast – we have great auction items, really unique things that hopefully will be hard for people to pass up; Ben Tucker Jazz Trio is phenomenal, and we’re looking forward to a great evening for a good cause,” Bolton said.

Bolton welcomes the community to volunteer their time with the foundation.

“We are desperate for volunteers. We have great folks show up for the plantings, but as far as the day to day stuff, we would love to have more people.”

Those interested should come to a CBTF meeting, held on the second Monday of each month at 6 p.m. at the RHBC Chamber of Commerce office (2591 Highway 17, Suite 100, Richmond Hill) or visit or
Details on the scholarship (deadline: May 25) may also be found on their website.

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