Tree City

From left are Tympel Harrison, Public Information and Outreach for the Mississippi Forestry Commission; New Albany Light, Gas and Water Manager Bill Mattox; beautification committee members Sandy Shaddinger, Sam Creekmore, Jolyn Cooke, Jane Ford; Alderman-at-Large Keith Conlee; Matt Copley, Fulghum’s Inc. Tree Preservation Specialists and Consultants; and Mayor Tim Kent.

The City of New Albany was honored Wednesday for its 14th year as an official Tree City.

Misty T. Booth, urban and community forestry coordinator for the Mississippi Forestry Commission, said, “This commitment to the program demonstrates an investment by the city in the management of its urban forestry resources. Improving the urban tree canopy of a city can have many benefits, including reduced temperatures and energy costs as well as reduced pollution of both air and water.”

A larger tree canopy also enhances property values, wildlife habitat and aesthetics, she added, while attracting businesses and improving the quality of life for residents.

In order to be recognized and certified by Tree City USA® cities must have an ordinance governing trees in place, appoint a tree advisory board, spend $2 per capita on community tree care program and recognize the value of trees through an Arbor Day celebration and proclamation.

New Albany recently completed a tree survey that included every tree in the city that is within 12 feet of the street. A database is being compiled with extensive information about each tree, its health and its contribution to the well-being of the city. There will even be links to Google Earth street view so one may look at the actual tree.

That database should be available to the public soon from a web site named i-Tree.org.

Matt Copley, with Fulghum’s Incorporate, who did the tree survey, said they tagged about 3,200 trees in the city with a value of about $8.3 million and which have about $285,000 value in removing pollutants from the air.

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