Save Georgia's Hemlocks, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is a rapidly growing grassroots organization of energetic individuals with diverse backgrounds, interests, ages, and origins, united by a common purpose to save the hemlocks. We began our efforts in July 2009 with a large goal -- to serve all of north Georgia where the woolly adelgid is a serious threat. With the help of many volunteers and partners, we have made remarkable progress since then, but there is still much to do to preserve and protect as many of these valuable trees as possible for the benefit of everything that depends on them and everyone who loves them.
As an organization, SGH is characterized by a proactive approach to caring for the environment, a culture of inquiry and independent thinking, appreciation of diversity, respect and transparency in all our interactions, creativity and results-oriented hands-on engagement, conservative financial practices, and high ethical standards.
Please join us! There are many different ways to get involved -- a little or a lot. We invite you to get to know us, find your special role in this important cause, use your time and talents to serve in meaningful ways that will have a positive effect for years to come, and share the fun.
SAVE GEORGIA'S HEMLOCKS is a 100% volunteer, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of concerned citizens dedicated to saving endangered hemlocks through education and charitable service.
Through our efforts of preservation, conservation and restoration, there will be a healthy population of hemlocks in Georgia for future generations.
These are the guiding principles under which our nonprofit organization operates:
■ Do all for the benefit of property owners and their hemlocks with no benefit accruing to any participant.
■ Operate in the most efficient, cost-effective manner, adhering to nonprofit standards of excellence and best practices.
■ Do all with simplicity, transparency, and the spirit of charitable service.
We are a fiscally conservative 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and promise to use your gifts very carefully. Our budgetary goal is to keep overhead expenses to 20% or less in order to devote 80% or more of our resources to clearly defined program activities; however, our actual performance for FY 2009 - 2017 has averaged 91% or better for education and charitable service and 9% or less for overhead. Our books are open to public inspection upon request.
It is our intention to keep the organization lean, proactive, community-based, and uncomplicated. We welcome all individuals and groups who share our vision to save north Georgia's hemlocks for this and future generations. Click here to meet our SGH Leadership Team.
achieve our mission and vision, our Hemlock Help Program focuses on three goals:
Educate -- Enhance public awareness of the
hemlock woolly adelgid crisis, current practical options and emerging control
technologies, and the aesthetic, economic and environmental reasons to take
timely and effective action to
■ Enable -- Ensure easy access to sound hemlock-specific instruction, advice regarding economical solutions, and availability of necessary resources.
■ Engage -- Enlist our volunteers to provide direct assistance to property owners, nonprofits, and public land managers.
Our Program Description sets forth the problem statement, program goals and objectives, services and scope, and implementation plan. To learn more about the features of the program, how to use the services, and how to participate as an individual or group, please visit on the Hemlock Help page.
■ Education -- Provide educational resources, programs, and activities that reach and benefit members, volunteers, and a wide range of constituencies in support of saving the hemlocks.
■ Communications -- Develop messaging materials and methods that raise awareness, provide accurate and up-to-date information and instructions, and respond to requests for advice and assistance.
■ Service -- Manage service activities to enable property owners to do as much as possible for themselves as possible and to deliver direct volunteer assistance on private and public lands as our resources permit.
■ Saplings -- Maintain a nursery of healthy hemlock seedlings and saplings and conduct service activities to promote the planting and care of new hemlocks on public and private lands.
■ Membership & Partnership -- Create and nurture relationships with individuals and other like-minded organizations to support achievement of our shared goals and objectives, multiply our ability to educate and serve, and provide future leadership.
■ Financial Management -- Provide appropriate guidelines, oversight, and management of financial resources, records, and risk.
■ Administration -- Manage business aspects of the organization to ensure effective and efficient operation and compliance with applicable authorities.
The years since 2009 have been an exciting and productive journey with the level of awareness about our threatened hemlocks rising to an all-time high and so many wonderful people coming forward to join the battle to save the trees. Our momentum and membership have grown substantially, and we expect that trend to continue.
-- Below are the highlights of our activities and accomplishments our
fiscal year ending November 30, 2016.
■ All 19 HWA-infested Georgia counties now served by our Hemlock Help Program
n Hemlock Help Line available 7 days a week with 1,329 calls handled to date
n 14 SGH Hemlock Help Clinics with 136 attendees
n 12 SGH Facilitator Training Workshops with 78 new Facilitators trained and 18 Facilitators refreshed
n Current total of 243 Volunteer Facilitators in Georgia and 57 in other states
n 151 Facilitator visits made to property owners with charitable treatment of 2,080 trees
n 7 special training classes for 69 neighborhood volunteers
n 17 presentations to civic/community groups with 722 attendees
n 14 festivals with 76 volunteers and 2,046 visitors/contacts
n 36 articles/news items written by, with the assistance of, or about SGH published in newspapers/magazines
n 13 hemlock rescue projects with 22 volunteers, 202 saplings and 245 seedlings rescued
n 179 hemlock saplings adopted; 40 small, 16 medium, and 18 large saplings currently available for adoption
n 230 seedlings and 27 saplings donated to schools/nonprofits; 10 large Carolina hemlocks adopted and donated to high profile public sites including Georgia State Botanical Garden, Oakland Cemetery, Trees Atlanta, and Elachee Nature Center
n 1 project for hemlock restoration on trout streams with 18 volunteers planting 60 large saplings
n 3 other hemlock sapling planting projects with 15 volunteers planting 2 large and 12 small saplings
■ 17 hemlock treatment projects (including 7 for USFS and 2 for DNR State Parks) with 200 volunteers treating/retreating 4,050 trees
n 25 soil injectors repaired/refurbished for parts cost only, 2 currently in process
n Total of 5,300 volunteer hours logged
Our spending ratio for FY 2016 was 93% for education and charitable service and
n great music by Downtown Roy
n Poole's wonderful barbecue plus everyone's favorite covered side dishes
n keynote speaker Dr. Bud Mayfield of the U. S. Forest Service in Asheville who shared an interesting and hopeful message about progress in the battle to save the hemlocks from the HWA, the latest scientific developments, and how individuals and groups can help. Click here for a pdf copy of his presentation.
n healthy hemlock saplings available for adoption (6 were adopted.)
n good fellowship with other like-minded people who share our love of the outdoors and passion for preserving it.
The slate of Leadership Team Members offered on our 2016 ballot was unanimously approved by the attendees.
Special groups that participated in our Friends Circle with educational displays and information included the American Chestnut Foundation, Back Country Horsemen of North Georgia, the predator beetle lab of North Georgia College & State University, Georgia Department of Natural Resources State Parks and Wildlife Resources Divisions, Garden Club of Ellijay, Georgia Forest Watch, Gilmer County Beekeepers Association, Gilmer County Master Gardeners, Len Foote Hike Inn, Mountain High Hikers, Trout Unlimited Blue Ridge Chapter, U. S. Forest Service, and Yahoola Outdoors.
For the full story, please read the Recap and Photos of 2016 Hemlock Camp Meeting.
Proactive Plans for the Future
The next few years are likely to be the “tipping point” years for the hemlocks in Georgia, and there is much to do! With the adelgid’s prolific reproduction rate and the limited financial and manpower resources facing our public land managers, the hemlocks are at a major disadvantage, and private property owners will play an important role in the very survival of the species.
In FY 2017 we are planning an aggressive schedule to offer educational events in all our program counties, continue our support of the U. S. Forest Service and Georgia DNR hemlock treatment projects, increase our focus on partnerships and youth activities, and proceed with our two newest initiatives -- hemlock restoration on trout streams and creation/augmentation of hemlock field insectaries. Please see the Introduction to SGH Strategy Plan for FY 2017 for the big picture and the Schedule of Events page for details.
■ More counties to be added to Hemlock Help Program as needed to stay on the leading edge of the HWA infestation
■ More education through clinics and presentations for neighborhood associations, garden clubs, recreational or environmental groups, civic organizations, schools and churches
■ More enabling for communities through Facilitator training, increased access to treatment products through local retailers, and assistance for hemlock project planning
■ More awareness created through placement of educational materials in public places and publication of hemlock-related articles and newsletters
■ More outreach through public events, fairs and festivals, and other special activities
■ More community service through partnerships with other like-minded organizations, joint service and educational events, and charitable assistance to individuals, communities, and public lands where it’s needed
SGH Leadership Team meetings are held quarterly, usually on the second Sunday of the calendar quarter. They may include both Board business and general information, and we welcome the participation of all interested parties.
The next Leadership Team meeting will be Sunday, April 9, starting at 1 p.m. at the home of Donna Shearer. An agenda will be posted here prior to the meeting.
This year we're asking all of our Lead Facilitators to join
us for our quarterly meetings because as the scope of our programs expands, your input and participation will be more important than ever.
Organizing Documents and Reports
■ Bylawsas amended 1-13-13, including policies for:
Conflict of Interest
Whistleblower Protection (tax-exempt status)
Note: We will also make these documents available for public inspection
© Save Georgia's Hemlocks
2009. Last updated