Brookhaven City Council honored the first Tree Preservation and Planting Awards Jan. 26. From left are Councilwoman Linley Jones, Councilman John Park, Patric Fisher, Johnny Ladson, Mike Elliot, Mayor John Ernst, Councilman Joe Gebbia and Councilman Bates Mattison. (Photo Dyana Bagby)

The Brookhaven Park Project was the recipient of the inaugural Tree Preservation and Planting Awards at the recent Brookhaven City Council meeting.

Those receiving certificates of appreciation at the Jan. 26 council meeting were Mike Elliot with Friends of Brookhaven Park; Johnny Ladson with Gables Residential; and Patric Fisher with Native Trees LLC.

When the Gables Oglethorpe development got underway in 2014, it became clear the trees along Hermance Drive could not be saved. But Gables Residential and Friends of Brookhaven Park came together to move the trees to Brookhaven Park, according to a report from the city.

With the help of Brookhaven arborist Kay Evanovich, the two groups identified 22 of the 45 trees that could be transplanted. Gables Residential paid for the transplanting and initial maintenance of the trees; cost for this project was $6,000.

Native Trees, a local company with tree spading and moving equipment and expertise, was hired to move and plant the trees in Brookhaven Park. The Friends of Brookhaven Park purchased hoses and hired labor to hand water all the trees throughout the summer until early fall.

A year after planting, all 22 trees are alive and thriving.