Powers Island, part of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation area, provides a serene place to gaze at fall colors.
Powers Island, part of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation area, provides a serene place to gaze at fall colors.

City of Sandy Springs officials think it’s pretty cool that there’s more shade in their city.

On Sept. 25, the city issued a statement highlighting the results of a tree canopy study that shows the city’s canopy is back to 1991 levels.

“In conjunction with the University of Georgia Institute of Ecology Natural Resources Spatial Analysis Laboratory (NARSAL), the City recently completed a comprehensive tree canopy study that shows that Sandy Springs has a tree canopy of 59 percent, an increase of seven percent over a 2008 study and equal to the City’s canopy in 1991,” the city says in a press release.

The announcement comes as the city is looking for ways to update and improve its existing tree ordinance at the request of outgoing City Councilwoman Karen Meinzen McEnerny.

According to the city’s press release, “The current survey was conducted using aerial photography data from NAIP (National Agriculture Inventory Program), providing data that is 30 times more refined than data utilized in previous studies. In 1991, the City’s canopy cover was 59 percent. In 2001, the canopy registered at 54 percent, 55 percent in 2005, and 51.82 percent in 2008.  Urban tree canopy studies quantify the percentage of tree canopy coverage of a given area, relating directly to air quality, storm water management, ecosystem balance and quality of life benefits.”