City event will ‘Celebrate Green’

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 27, 2003

The City of Demopolis is loosing green space and trees at an ever-increasing

rate to development along its major right-of-ways, particularly Highway 80.

The City is committed to protecting its natural beauty and environment, while promoting development, and is replacing its urban tree canopy through two avenues.

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The city recently adopted a Minimum Landscape and Tree

Protection Ordinance requiring all new development in business and industrial zones to meet certain tree planting and protection criteria.

The city also drafted a Master Street Tree Plan that calls for the planting of 1977 trees along its major right-of-ways. A high-publicity event that

involves and educates the developers, contractors, business, and property owners along these right-of-ways is needed to generate attention and support

for the city’s latest urban forestry efforts.

The Demopolis Beautification Commission is planning Celebrate Green:

Demopolis Highways to Greenways, a weeklong event to promote urban forestry in Demopolis.

The activities to be featured during the event are designed to (1) educate developers, contractors, business and property owners, and citizens about the importance of the urban tree planting and green space, (2) demonstrate proper tree protection practices on building sites, (3) generate awareness and support for the City’s Minimum Landscape and Tree Protection Requirements and Master Street Tree Plan, (4) provide business and property owners with the knowledge and experience to landscape and plant trees on their own properties, (5) give volunteers a since of ownership and responsibility for Demopolis’ urban forest, and (6) provide a blatant visual reminder of the positive impact trees can have on Demopolis.

The week of activities will include two workshops that will be taught by urban forestry experts with assistance from the city horticulturist. One workshop will target developers and demonstrate ways to protect trees on constructions sites and review and answer questions regarding the city’s Minimum Landscape and Tree Protection Ordinance.

Another workshop will be open to business and homeowners and will highlight ways in which they can use trees to enhance their landscapes and feature trees for Demopolis. A large scale, volunteer based tree planting project will be planned to implement the first phase of the Master Street Tree Plan on Highway 80. An urban forestry exhibition event will be set up the day of the tree planting project on Highway 80 where tree planting volunteers and others can walk through exhibits, get refreshments, and take a break from tree planting while learning about trees.

Urban forestry and related groups like the Alabama Urban Forestry Association, Trees for Alabama, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, the Alabama Forestry Commission, and others will be invited to set up exhibits and share knowledge with volunteers.

The City of Demopolis, in conjunction with the Demopolis Beautification Commission and Beautification Department has received $10,000 in funds from

Urban&Community Forestry Financial Assistance to complete this project.

The total project cost is estimated to be $29,470.00, which includes local

match in the form of in-kind service provided by the city horticulturist, members of the Beautification Commission, and project participants.