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Recovery grants could create jobs
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Dawson is among 17 north Georgia counties where forestry jobs will be created as part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.


The federal program, with help from the Georgia Forestry Commission, will subsidize a grant of $897,000 to help stimulate the economy and restore ecosystems impacted by growth and urbanization.


“Georgia’s ‘Growing Green’ project will help many north Georgia counties where the highest net changes in employment rates have occurred,” said Susan Reisch, urban and community forestry coordinator for the commission’s  sustainable community forestry program.


“The funding will help create and retain green jobs in nurseries, tool and equipment sales and landscape architecture, among others. These jobs will help sustain the health and diversity of north Georgia forests, which have been impacted by the pressures of growth and urbanization.”


The funds will not replace or supplant state mandated Georgia Forestry Commission budget reductions, but can only be used for job retention or the creation of new, temporary positions in the forestry industry.


According to Reisch, funding will be passed to local partner organizations and institutions, which provide the mechanism and leverage needed to select tree planting sites and carry out the plantings.


Urban forest professionals will guide the strategic placement of trees for economic and environmental benefits such as water and air quality, climate change, energy savings, greenhouse gases reduction and mitigation of storm runoff.