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Smith busy with beautification projects

Amanda Smith, Demopolis city horticulturist, has a lot to keep her busy these days.

First, there was the implementation of a $2,000 Plant A Tree in Alabama grant program the city received in 2000.

That project which included planting trees along Arch Street and at the City Landing park is almost finished.

With additional money budgeted by the Beautification Committee, further landscaping has been done in the park including 81 shade and ornamental trees, and hundreds of shrubs.

There has been landscaping of the fence line of the City Landing ball field and the new pavilion, corner plantings on Commissioners Avenue, and shade tree planting on the river’s banks.

The Plant A Tree in Alabama program is sponsored by the Alabama Power Foundation and the Alabama Urban Forestry Association.

In addition, a Master Tree Planting plan will be developed for the City of Demopolis through a $7,500 grant from Urban and Community Forestry, Smith said.

The city has contracted with Louis Wynn Associates of Magnolia Springs, Alabama to develop the overall plan for tree planning throughout the city over several years. Tree planting will be done in different sections of the city each year after the plan is implemented.

There will be a public meeting with the tree plan architect in early summer, she said, and replacing trees on downtown sidewalks will probably be in the first phase of that plan.

The National Tree Trust gave the city 500 seedlings in the last few months, she said. "Some of those have been planted along the very edge of Highway 80 East to grow up and create a living screen (or buffer)….The rest we have potted and will plant when they’re larger."

The seedlings include White Pine, Loblolly Pine, Green Ash, River Birch and Live Oak, she said.

Smith also hopes to find time to work on landscaping at a particular school each year.

The beautification personnel are currently building 47 planters to be placed downtown in the spring. "On rainy days when we can’t get out and work, we’ve been working on building those in the shop," she said.

The landscaping ordinance was passed at the last meeting of the Demopolis City Council. "The next person that comes in wanting a building permit will have to submit a landscaping plan at the same time they submit their building plan," Smith said.