This year’s Arbor Day was another success. Getting up Saturday morning, walking across the street to the Coastal Community College where the event took place and it was absolutely the most beautiful day of the year so far. It felt like I was in a scene from Truman Show!
Our Public Works Director, Richard Johnson, welcomed everyone and declared that Arbor Day would be his official first day to wear shorts from here on out. Then I declared Feb 16, 2019 Arbor Day for the City of Fairhope!
Fairhope is known nationally for its trees and there is great passion from our citizens, guests and visitors for our trees. Richard went over the 2019 State of the City Trees which overall is very good.
Some of Our Accomplishments In 2018:
- A successful controlled burn at Knoll Park and declared it as a monarch butterfly sanctuary and planted seedlings for Milkweed. (insert knoll park)
- A Targeted over-story tree planting throughout the developed areas of the city
- Planted 300 evergreens for screening – 200 Blue Point Junipers & 100 Black Dragon Cryptomerias
- New Developments and Subdivisions – over 300 new over-story street trees – working with developers to change up varieties to avoid homogenization.
Our Goals for 2019 will be to:
- Remove and change-out trees on Fairhope Avenue
- Landscape and hardscape key City entrances
- Bluff stabilization using tree planting and preservation
- Continue developer engagement in the selection and use of trees in landscapes
We face challenges and we’re facing them with diligence and planning.
Planning for Challenges:
- Maintenance and replacement of our downtown trees
- Development and the Urban Forest
- Invasive species – no plan or proposed action
- Stream/Gully degradation and related loss of trees
Paul Fontenot with our Tree Committee presented awards for the art contest, “Trees are terrific… Inside and Out!”
1st Place Winner, Yamil Cintron, Fairhope Intermediate School
1st Place Winner, Julia Porokop, J. Larry Newton School. She added, “Even trees that are different from others are terrific!”
The follow received the 2018 Beatification Awards!
Section Place, Ware M. Porter, 108 North Section Street, for Exceptional Consideration in Siting the Building and for Outstanding Use of Environmental Practices
Redeemer Lutheran Church, 200 South Section Street, for Outstanding Architectural Structure and Tree Preservation
Wok by d’Bay, 420 Fairhope Avenue, for Exceptional Attention to Appearance of Existing Historic Structure
Britt Properties, LLC, 455 Magnolia Avenue, for Exceptional Consideration in Siting the Building and for Outstanding Architectural Design
ABC Store # 67, 160 Baldwin Square, For Exceptional Remodel and Landscaping in a Commercial Structure
What some may not know about Fairhope, is the great passion and care we have for our trees. Our dedicated Tree Committee will be enhancing our already stringent Tree Ordinance and helped complete a project in 2016 led by Auburn University which provides data on the economic and environmental values of trees in the city, as well as species composition. The data was collected by 20 local volunteers (many from Fairhope) who spent a total of 1,729 hours in the summer of 2016 collecting 200 sample plots to generate the report.
We have a rich culture of volunteerism and I want to thank Baldwin County Master Gardener’s, Boy Scout Troop #47, Cathy Yokel of J. Larry Newton, Leone Jones of Fairhope Intermediate School, Alabama Coastal Community College, Wisteria Garden Club, Fairhope Garden Club and Alabama Forestry Commission for caring so much about this incredible asset: Our Trees!
Mayor Karin Wilson