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Gainesvilles greenway to get greener
City officials planning for 25 new trees along trail
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Gainesville officials are ready to bring some greenery to the midtown greenway.

Chattahoochee Lawn Services of Clermont will plant at least 25 trees along the trail by the end of the month, and officials are meeting this morning to decide the exact places.

"One will go at the northern terminus of the trail right there at the Red Cross," said Jessica Tullar, the city's special projects manager who oversees the greenway plans. "The others will go along the sections that public works crews have been working on between Parker and Banks streets and then High and Martin Luther King Jr. streets."

The plan includes a mixture of shade trees, such as sugar maples and overcup oaks, and smaller ornamental trees, such as eastern redbuds and serviceberry trees.

"Most of these are considered native to Georgia, so they should be easily available," Tullar said. "It's high planting season and nearing the end for trees, so we're at a good time to get these in the ground."

Rick and Jan Gailey, owners of Chattahoochee Lawn Services, applied for the planting bid, which the city is funding through a $9,000 grant from the Georgia Forestry Commission.

"We're excited about working close to home and having a part in the greenway, especially with all of the renovations going on there in the midtown," Jan Gailey said. "We live in Clermont, but Gainesville feels like our home also."

Jan Gailey, who enjoys walking, is looking forward to exercising on a completed greenway.

"I'm excited about being able to utilize that and being able to tell my grandkids that we planted those trees," she said.

Tullar is also working with public utilities officials to get a permit from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to restore a stream that runs along the greenway site. The EPD will open a 30-day public comment period before issuing a variance for Gainesville officials to work on the old CSX maintenance yard this summer.

"We hope to hear about additional grant funding in mid-April so we can move full force ahead with the final details of the greenway," Tullar said.

"This is another step toward our overall vision, which will include a walk-bike-ride path and amenities, shade trees and benches."