The city of Fort Oglethorpe recently received two honors of recognition from two different organizations for their efforts to better the community.

During the Aug. 26 City Council meeting, representatives from the American Legion and Tree City USA stopped by to recognize the city as a whole and its leaders for their continued work in the community.

First, Jack Staples of the American Legion Post 214 presented a certificate of appreciation to the city.

“This certificate of appreciation is gratefully presented to the city of Fort Oglethorpe Georgia for recognition of sincere appreciation of outstanding service and assistance, which contributed to the advancement of the American Legion programs and activities dedicated to God and country,” Staples said.

In addition to the continuous partnership with the Legion, Joe Burgess with Tree City USA praised the city’s effort to protect trees and nature in the community.

“I am here to present the recognition award for Tree City USA,” Burgess said. “Tree City USA is a National Recognition Program sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation and supported by the Georgia Forestry Commission. This is for recognition of communities that go above and beyond community tree conservation.

Since becoming a “Tree City” a couple of years ago, Fort Oglethorpe officials and city staff have worked diligently to recognize the importance of trees throughout town and in parks; and effort that Burgess says hasn’t gone unnoticed.

“The Tree City USA Program requires four tests and I require one myself, which I saw when I drove in – you’ve got to put the Tree City USA sign up,” Burgess said. “The other four are that you have to have a tree ordinance that protects trees on public property; you’ve got to have a tree board that provides education for the community; you’ve got to have an Arbor Day proclamation, and you’ve got to expend funds to conserve trees within the community.”

As someone who spends a lot of time trying to secure the protection of trees, Burgess says he was excited to come to town and recognize the great work being done.

“It’s a great pleasure for someone like myself to greet new tree cities who are growing into the program,” Burgess said. “I start to see trees begin to spring up within the community and it’s a testament to the efforts of the council, the tree board, and its citizens to conserve trees because of the values that they provide the community.”

Burgess not only thanked Mayor Earl Gray and the City Council members for their great work, but also delivered a flag for the city to proudly fly moving forward.

“I’d like to present you with this Tree City USA flag, which I’m sure next time I come into town will be flying high,” Burgess said. “I appreciate your help and your conservation efforts.”

Adam Cook is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area. He has been a reporter since 2009.

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