FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Greenscape Founders Earn Statewide Award
Jacksonville, FL, (January 23, 2023) – Greenscape of Jacksonville, Inc., is honored to announce that its co-founders have been named 2022 Outstanding Tree Advocates for the state of Florida, by the Florida Urban Forestry Council.
Susan Fisher Davis and the late Ann Baker co-founded Greenscape in 1975 after becoming concerned about the lack of trees being saved or incorporated into fast-developing Jacksonville. They raised private funds to plant 200 trees in the city’s downtown, where the tree canopy had been almost entirely replaced with concrete. Finding enthusiastic public interest, they continued funding tree plantings in parks, schools and roadways all over the region. Today, Greenscape is credited with adding over 350,000 trees to the urban tree canopy. It is the oldest nonprofit tree advocacy organization in the state and the second oldest in the country. Groups like it are now found in every major city.
“Susan and Ann were smart, savvy women who didn’t take ‘no’ for an answer,” said Executive Director Lisa Grubba. “They were years ahead of their time and so many of their early ideas are still relevant today. They got people together – citizens, elected officials, city managers – and got them thinking about and excited about our tree canopy. We owe a lot to their vision and hard work.”
Davis and Baker were chosen by the council “in recognition of exceptional vision, leadership, and contributions to urban forestry activities and programs.”
The following two quotes from newspaper articles in the 1970s exemplify each woman’s vision:
- “A city without trees is a city without heart.” Ann Baker
- “From a practical standpoint, trees bring dollars to the city. I’m a realtor and I know a beautifully treed lot is going to bring a couple of thousand dollars more than one that isn’t. We have so much natural beauty in our city, we could do more to ‘green’ it.” Susan Fisher Davis
Though she passed away in 2011, Baker’s daughter, Sally Baker Lee, is still an active board member of Greenscape and her other children continue to support the work as well. Davis, though now retired, also continues her interest in and support of Greenscape’s work.
The award will be presented at the Urban Forestry Institute conference in March 2023. The Florida Urban Forestry Council is a statewide nonprofit made up of professionals, advocates and citizens to educate the public on the best methods of managing the urban forest.
About Greenscape of Jacksonville: Greenscape is the oldest nonprofit tree advocacy organization in the state of Florida and the second oldest in the country. For 48 years, it has planted, protected and promoted trees in Northeast Florida. Through volunteer tree plantings and tree giveaways, it has increased the urban tree canopy by hundreds of thousands of trees in fast-growing Florida. Greenscapeofjax.org
Florida Urban Forestry Council: www.fufc.org/