The hemlocks are a valuable natural resource, and they desperately need your help. Whether you are young or not so young, own property in the mountains or just enjoy visiting them, every effort by every individual is important.There are many interesting and rewarding ways to get involved, a lot or a little, whatever works best for you.
See our Schedule of Events for a variety of opportunities.
- Volunteers are needed to work on hemlock treatment, sapling rescue, and hemlock restoration projects, staff our booth at fairs and festivals, and help with special programs.
- More Facilitators are needed in several counties.
- Neighborhood Hemlock Help Projects are a great way for property owners to help each other treat the hemlocks on common property and throughout their neighborhood to establish a wide adelgid suppression area. Please contact us for help to develop a plan and manage a project.
Support SGH's mission by becoming a member. Save Georgia's Hemlocks is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, so the support of individual members and interested groups is vitally important to us as we work to identify the hemlock-related needs in each community, find more creative ways to communicate the hemlock message, develop effective programs to help property owners save their trees, and expand our capabilities through networking with individuals and groups that share similar environmental, conservation, and recreational interests. If you'd like to take a stand, have a say, and be part of the solution, please visit the Memberships and Donations page. On that page you'll also find information about several kinds of special gifts you might be interested in, and not all of them involve money!
care of your own
Be alert for the first signs of the woolly adelgid -- little white egg sacs on
the underside of the branches. If even one of the hemlocks on your
property is infested or if a neighbor's trees are infested, go ahead and plan to
treat all your hemlocks that you want to save as soon as possible.
Visit the HWA Controls page
to learn about
your options or call the Hemlock Help Line 706-429-8010 for advice.
Please take action early!
Spread the Word to Others. Believe it or not, there are still many people who are unaware that the hemlocks are in great danger or may be laboring under misinformation that it's too expensive or too late to save them. Please be an ambassador for the hemlocks, using email lists, newsletters, web sites, other social media, and word of mouth to share the hemlock message. Your friends and business associates, neighborhood associations and conservation/recreation organizations, schools and churches, and other community groups need to know. Our Resources page has a great deal of good educational materials you're welcome to download and share with others.
Here are the three key messages:
■ The hemlocks are extremely valuable to the beauty, environmental health, and economic vitality of our mountain communities, but they're in trouble and most of them will die unless effective action is taken soon.
■ Property owners can save as many of their hemlocks as they choose. It's safe, economical, highly effective, and easy enough for most individuals to do .
■ Save Georgia's Hemlocks can provide a great deal of free, practical assistance.
Become an active volunteer. Save Georgia's Hemlocks is also a 100% volunteer organization, so everything we're able to accomplish is through our wonderful volunteers who share their time, energy, creativity, and good old-fashioned hands-on action. There are so many different ways to help. You can check the Schedule of Events page to see when activities are happening that you might want to participate in. Then email us or call the Hemlock Help Line 706-429-8010 to let us know of your interests.
■ Teaching or giving presentations
■ Talking to kids' classes or groups
■ Being a neighborhood volunteer
■ Helping on charitable service projects
■ Organizing volunteers for a project
■ Monitoring hemlocks for HWA
■ Measuring, tagging, or treating hemlocks
■ Planting or transplanting hemlocks
■ Leading a hike in the forest
■ Hosting a special event
■ Helping to organize or lead a meeting
■ Staffing an information booth
■ Preparing marketing and communications materials
■ Doing research and citizen science
■ Writing articles or educational materials
■ Using your artistic or creative talents
■ Taking photos or preparing YouTube videos
■ Using the Internet, Facebook, and other technology
■ Distributing educational/awareness materials
■ Building partnerships with other nonprofit groups
■ Using your business skills or knowledge
■ Fundraising and/or grant writing
Become a Facilitator. You can provide an even more valuable service to your community by taking a short training course (5 hours plus some hands-on practice) to acquire in-depth knowledge about the hemlocks, the woolly adelgids, and the available treatments and then making yourself available to help your neighbors understand the issues and advise them about appropriate solutions. Facilitators are trained in assessing HWA problems, explaining the control methods and options for getting the work done, setting property owners' expectations, and helping property owners implement their chosen solution.
They also play a valuable role in proactively spreading the word about the HWA problem and available solutions, participating in educational events and charitable service projects, communicating information between the SGH leadership team and the community, and serving as good-will ambassadors for the hemlocks and SGH. To see what's involved, please visit the Volunteer Facilitator page.
Help hemlocks on our public lands. In addition to helping property owners save trees on private land, SGH is very active in support of our public land managers' efforts to preserve the trees on public land. Volunteers can participate in joint SGH projects with the U. S. Forest Service or the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to treat hemlocks on the national forest, state parks and wildlife management areas. Or you can volunteer directly with the public land managers to help hemlocks in other ways, such as monitoring tree conditions, scouting for survivor trees, or helping to maintain trails and waterways.
Join a Paddling for Hemlocks outing. Thousands of hemlocks growing along Georgia's river corridors are infested with HWA, and while some trees are already dead or dying, many are still healthy enough to be treated and saved. The loss of these hemlocks could have serious results - warmer water temperature negative impacting fish populations, greater risk of forest fire endangering our public lands and nearby communities, and more trees falling into the rivers creating strainers and making them less safe for paddlers, fishermen, and others who enjoy recreation on our waterways.
Based on these concerns SGH, in partnership with the Georgia Canoeing Association (GCA) and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and with the benefit of mentoring by Asheville-based Hemlock Restoration Initiative (HRI) and Paddlers for Hemlock Health Action Taskforce (PHHAT), has launched a new initiative called Paddling for Hemlocks. The mission is to preserve the health of hemlocks in the riparian corridor of the Cartecay and other north Georgia rivers, utilizing the ability of experienced whitewater paddlers to access groves that are not readily accessible by land. Under the leadership of SGH's Dave Teffeteller, GCA's Dan MacIntyre, and PHHAT's Alex Harvey, we began recruiting and training in January and February and held our first treatment outing on the Cartecay River in Ellijay. For the present, treatment will be only on DNR land where permission is given.
In the March 2020 GCA Eddy Line, Dan MacIntyre wrote, "The hemlocks are considered by most paddlers to be the most beautiful trees on the river." After enumerating their many benefits, he went on to say, "Without our hemlocks, Georgia's rivers and river banks will not be the same."" Read Dan's full article. For more information, contact Dave Teffeteller or Dan MacIntyre. We hope you'll come out and join us!
Sponsor a hemlock presentation. Sponsoring an educational event just means helping to publicize it, inviting people to attend, and maybe providing some light refreshments -- no money involved. So if you have a group that would be interested in having a hemlock help presentation, we'll be happy to do it and give public recognition to you or your organization as a sponsor. Call the Hemlock Help Line 706-429-8010 for more information.
Another way to help spread the word is by wearing or using SGH-logo items such as tee-shirts, tote bags, caps and coffee mugs. We don't receive any money from these purchases, but they do help raise visibility for the hemlock cause and our organization, and they're very good looking!
The merchandise store can be found at: http://www.cafepress.com/savegeorgiashemlocks.
Help develop a neighborhood hemlock health plan. Work with your friends and neighbors to develop a neighborhood hemlock help plan to suppress the woolly adelgid over the widest possible area. SGH can meet with your property owners association or its board to provide guidance on scoping a project, determining the best treatment option, estimating the effort and cost, anticipating the challenges, and building community support.
Then we can carry it further to organize a group project, enlisting your friends, neighbors and other volunteers to treat the hemlocks in your community. We provide the training and on-site project management and bring all the necessary equipment and supplies. For an overview of the process, please see the Neighborhood Hemlock Help Planning Guide.
a Licensed Pesticide Applicator.
many north Georgia counties within the native hemlock range, there is a shortage
of treatment professionals who possess the required Pesticide Contractor License
and have specific knowledge and experience in treating hemlocks. Anyone
who would like more information about how to obtain the necessary license is
invited to call the Hemlock Help Line 706-429-8010.