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 10% or less in order to devote 90% 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 (as of 3/1/18).
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 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.
FY 2018 -- Below are the highlights of our activities and accomplishments in FY 2018 through 3/31/18.
■ All 19 HWA-infested Georgia counties now served by our Hemlock Help Program
■ Hemlock Help Line available 7 days a week with 304 calls handled
■ 3 Hemlock Help Clinic with 32 attendees
■ 2 Facilitator Training Workshop with 9 new Facilitators trained. Current total of 284 active Facilitators in Georgia and 58 in other states
■ 13 Facilitator visits made
■ 4 presentations to civic/community groups with 68 attendees
■ 3 Hemlock Lessons for 67 students and teachers
■ 1 festival with 3 volunteers and 75 visitors/contacts
■ 5 articles/news items written by, with the assistance of, or about SGH published in newspapers/magazines
■ 3 hemlock rescue projects with 6 volunteers, 57 saplings rescued and potted for use in educational/service activities or future adoption
■ 58 hemlock saplings adopted; 21 saplings donated to municipalities / schools / nonprofits
■ 2 hemlock sapling planting projects with 72 volunteers planting 21 saplings
■ 6 hemlock treatment projects with 111 volunteers treating/retreating 1,096 trees
■ 5 soil injectors repaired/refurbished
■ Total of 2,008 volunteer hours logged
■ Total spending in FY 2018 through 3/31/18: 93.32% for educational & charitable service programs; 6.68% for administrative, membership & fund raising
Proactive Plans for the Future
The next few years are likely to be the "tipping point" 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. Private property owners and volunteers will play an important role in the very survival of the species.
In FY 2018 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 do more projects for hemlock restoration on trout streams and other public lands. Please click here for a FY 2018 Strategy Overview, and see the Schedule of Events page for details.
■ More counties to be added to the Hemlock Help Program as needed to provide support as the HWA infestation spreads
■ More education through clinics and presentations for neighborhood associations, garden clubs, recreational and environmental groups, civic organizations, scout troops, schools and churches
■ More enabling for communities through Facilitator training, increased access to treatment products and equipment through local retailers, and assistance for hemlock project planning
■ More awareness 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 community activities
■ More community service through partnerships with other like-minded organizations, joint service and educational events, and charitable assistance to individuals, neighborhoods, and public lands
SGH Leadership Team meetings are held quarterly, usually on the second Sunday of the calendar quarter. We welcome the participation of all interested parties. We also ask that 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.
The next Leadership Team meeting is
Sunday, April 8, 2018, starting at 1 p.m. at the
Donna Shearer. An agenda will be posted here prior to the meeting.
Organizing Documents and Reports
■ IRS 501(c)(3) Letter of Determination (tax-exempt status)