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Author: Susan O

PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Contributes to Grant Park Conservancy’s Post-Hurricane Clean-up

October 18, 2004, Atlanta, GA – On behalf of the Grant Park Conservancy and Hands’ On Atlanta, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is proud to assist the Conservancy with a major, post-hurricane clean-up effort. PricewaterhouseCoopers closed its office of nearly 900 Partners and employees, who are volunteered one afternoon on Friday, October 29th to assist the Conservancy with tree planting, mulching, flower planting, etc.

Although significantly weakened, the remnants of Hurricane Frances arrived in Atlanta on September 6, 2004. High winds and heavy rains continued into the morning hours and throughout the following day. As so often happens when storms move through the area, several large, 100-year-old+ trees were lost – including a water oak, a maple, a river birch and a white oak.

"It takes decades to grow these big shady trees," said Conservancy Board Member Rick Jones. "Each time we lose one of these big trees a bit of the soul of the park is taken. We can not control the weather but we can continue to plan for the future canopy by planting new trees in the park each year," he said.

A week later, Hurricanes Ivan and Jeanne dropped another 4-5 inches of rain each and produced gusts of 50 mph. Three more large trees fell in the storm and damaged and destroyed several other trees as they fell. In total, 15 100-year-old+ trees were lost. Although it will take several generations to replace these trees the Conservancy continues to plant trees to insure a shady canopy for future visitors to enjoy. Over the past three years the Conservancy has planted 3,000+ trees and hundreds of shrubs.

"The urban forest is unable to regenerate naturally because of human activity. It is up to us to plan and plant city and park trees to make sure Atlanta remains green," said Jones.

During the time working in the park PwC employees distributed 143 cubic yards of mulch, installed 1000 feet of low impact fencing, built 100 planter boxes, planted a number of bog loving plants in a low wet area near the pond, made improvements to a dry stream bed, and planted trees.

Grant Park is unique within the City of Atlanta’s parks’ system:
• Oldest city park in Atlanta (est. 1883)
• Home to two of the top tourist attractions in the city - the Atlanta
Cyclorama and Zoo Atlanta
• Welcomes over 2 million visitors each year
• Original development and design plans by John Charles Olmsted
• First public park in Atlanta that resulted from a philanthropic gift (1883
• Deed stipulates land use as a public park open to all Atlantans
• Fourth largest greenspace within the Atlanta city limits (131.5 acres)
• Home to one of the last remaining Civil War defensive fortifications - Ft.
Walker and visible rifle pits that run through the park.

The Grant Park Conservancy (GPC) (www.gpconservancy.org) began as a group of concerned Atlanta residents who recognized the need to protect Grant Park, Atlanta's oldest city park, from the demands of growing use and declining maintenance. During an updated master plan process commissioned by the city of Atlanta Bureau of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, this group realized that the impetus to implement the new plan would come only from concerned citizens. The Conservancy was formed and now works to raise funds to carry out its mission and provide an enjoyable green space for families, visitors and residents of nearby neighborhoods.

The Master Plan calls for massive renovations and improvements to the park over the next 20 years. However, there are no current plans in the City of Atlanta Bureau of Parks budget to fund these improvements. Modeled on other conservancy movements in Atlanta and cities across the country the GPC will work independently and in partnership with the city to fully implement the Master Plan.

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (www.pwc.com) is the world's largest professional services organization. Helping clients build value, manage risk and improve their performance draws on the knowledge and skills of 155,000 people in 150 countries. PricewaterhouseCoopers provides a full range of business advisory services to leading global, national and local companies and to public institutions. These services include audit, accounting and tax advice; management, information technology and human resource consulting; financial advisory services, including mergers and acquisitions, business recovery, project finance and litigation support; business process outsourcing services; and legal services through a global network of affiliated law firms.

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