Greenscape co-founders named 2022 Outstanding Tree Advocates for the state of Florida

Greenscape co-founders named 2022 Outstanding Tree Advocates for the state of Florida

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.”

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. Grandson-in-law, Luke O’Steen, has recently served on the board.  Davis, though now retired, also continues her interest in and support of Greenscape’s work.

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