Connie Veates and Greg Levine, Co-Executive Directors of Trees Atlanta

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I am a huge fan of Trees Atlanta.   Since 1985, they’ve been passionate advocates for trees, a mission made all the more critical by Atlanta’s explosive growth.  On Saturday, October 8 they’ll be holding their Annual Tree Sale, a phenomenal chance to learn more about the organization and support them at the same time.  A few minutes with Co-Executive Directors Connie Veates and Greg Levine, and you’ll have a better idea of how much Trees Atlanta means to the city…


Q. What are Trees Atlanta’s greatest accomplishments?

A. We are very proud that in the past 26 years Trees Atlanta has planted over 81,000 trees, cared for more than 100,000 trees, and educated an average of 2,000 adults and children annually about the importance of urban trees and how to plant and properly care for them.  Additionally, we occupy one of Georgia’s few platinum LEED certified buildings, the Trees Atlanta Kendeda Center, in Reynoldstown.  And, we are so very fortunate to have the support of our 4,500 volunteers who help us plant and maintain trees.

Q. Why are trees important to Atlanta?

A. Trees help ensure that our air and water  stay clean; they reduce the heat island effect, produce a habitat to protect wildlife, and aid in global cooling for the roads and sidewalks that we use.  Also, trees are aesthetically pleasing – people are naturally attracted to the beauty of trees.  And, specifically for Atlanta, trees help us preserve our identity as the “city within the trees”.

Q.  A fairy godmother grants you an unlimited budget to fulfill your mandate:  what would Atlanta’s transformation look like?

A. Wow, we love this question – as a non-profit we are never faced with an unlimited budget!  However, since a fairy godmother is involved, it is easy to imagine our hot city being cooled by large urban shade trees.  Parking lots would not be blank canvases of pavement, but would be shielded by large canopy trees.  There would be ongoing tree care for all urban trees and all building and development would include the planting of trees in their plans upfront.  Finally, the public would take pride in the fact that our city understands the importance of trees and does the necessary work to preserve them.

Q. Favorite Atlanta neighborhoods?

A. Greg’s favorite neighborhood is Poncey Highland where he lives. In fact, he moved there because it is a walkable neighborhood with lots of trees.  Connie’s favorite is West End because they’ve been so involved in tree planting – their neighborhood leaders truly love the trees.

Q. What is Trees Atlanta 12th Annual Tree Sale Festival?

A. On this Saturday, October 8th from 8:00AM – 2:00PM (rain or shine), Trees Atlanta will hold a tree sale at our facility at 225 Chester Avenue, SE.  We will offer more than 1,000 trees, as well as shrubs and tree-friendly vines.  We’ll also have bluegrass music from Smokey’s Farmland Band, beverages by Honest Tea, a small lamb petting zoo, tree planting and care demos by local tree experts, and a dynamic speaker.  It will be a TREE-mendous event, so we hope that everyone comes!

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Jon Effron is widely regarded as one of the leading Realtors in Atlanta, working with both buyers and sellers throughout the metro area to maximize their real estate investments. In 2014, Jon was the #1 individual agent at Keller Williams Intown, one of the largest brokerages in Intown Atlanta. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Jon was the Vice President of Development at Tujay Group, an Atlanta real estate development firm. His career pre-real estate included stints at, eGroups (now Yahoo! Groups) and Elite Traveler magazine, where he served as the Vice President of Marketing.