Mayor’s Minute — #PlantGVL

Man and child planting tree in a green field
City Of Greenville Tree Initiative | Photo by Jack Robert Photography

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Greenville is known for its natural beauty, and for 39 years, has been named a Tree City USA. But just like people, trees have a lifespan. Many of Greenville’s trees were planted in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, making them close to 90-years-old. As the old trees age out, we’re doing everything we can to preserve + grow our tree canopy. 

#PlantGVL began as an education and awareness campaign and has since taken root. You may have seen our signs and social media posts. Perhaps you’ve attended 1 of our 3 tree giveaways where we handed out a total of 600 bare root saplings.

In addition to encouraging residents to plant trees on private property, the city has also committed to planting 1,000 trees on public property. So far this year, we’ve planted nearly 500 trees in our parks and medians.

Crew of four in high vis vests shoveling dirt around a newly planted tree
City of Greenville crews working to plant 51 trees in a median along Verdae Blvd. | Photo via the City of Greenville

We’re also preserving the trees we have. We purchased tree plotter software that allows us to keep track of our existing trees, including their species, age, and condition. Additionally, in January, we updated our tree ordinance to better address the removal and replacement of protected heritage trees.

And now, today, on this Arbor Day, we’re partnering with TreesUpstate and celebrating by giving away 200+ trees at Conestee State Park between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. TreesUpstate has also helped us create planting and tree growth guides.

A recent study by the Green Infrastructure Center found that only 36% of our city is currently under a tree canopy. We’d like to get to 40% by 2040. We’d also like to be a Tree City USA for 40 years in a row, but we can’t do it alone. Join us in growing a greener tomorrow by planting native species on your property or donating to the Greenville Tree Fund to support ongoing tree plantings throughout the city.

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