Green Infrastructure to Green Jobs in Savannah, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia’s Office of Sustainability and partners launched a green infrastructure initiative to restore the city’s urban forest, manage coastal stormwater flooding, and renew marginalized or lower-income neighborhoods. This project was funded through the Southeast Sustainable Communities Fund which supports local communities in the southeastern U.S. to advance climate adaptation and social equity in local government policy, plans and programs.
A $233,000 grant was provided to develop the program in 2017 for building “urban tree nurseries” in vacant city lots. The initiative offers job training and landscape certification for low-income job applicants through classroom and hands-on apprenticeships. They learn skills such as landscape design, irrigation system design and construction, pest management, as well as how to start and run an independent landscaping business - and can qualify to become a Georgia Certified Landscape Professional.
It is anticipated that by the end of April 2019, the apprentices will have planted 550 trees on three city lots. In about three years, the City will transplant the trees to other locations throughout Savannah where their storm water mitigation capacity is most needed. Savannah faces severe coastal flooding and stormwater inundation compounded by sea level rise.
Publication Date: 2017-2018
- Southeast Sustainability Directors’ Network
- Case study