10,000 trees for Charleston
In his 2012 State of the City address, Charleston Mayor Joe Riley announced a largely volunteer quality-of-life project for the suburban city called “10,000 Trees for Charleston.” The project, aimed at replacing trees along several major thoroughfares, has clearly taken root.
So far, the project headed by former state Rep. Jimmy Bailey has planted 1,108 trees.
The work is being done where road widening and development have diminished the number of trees over the years.
Sam Rittenberg Boulevard, Glenn McConnell Parkway, Savannah Highway, St. Andrews Boulevard, Old Towne Road, Folly Road and upper Meeting Street have benefited from the planting.
It’s “a great start,” as Mayor Riley observed in his 2013 State of the City speech on Jan. 22.
The saplings may not make a big impact immediately, but as they grow, they will increasingly enhance the appearance of these thoroughfares.
A $300 donation pays for a tree, as well as planting it and maintaining it for a year. Preferred trees include oak, palmetto and crepe myrtle.
The live oaks planted on East Bay Street 20 years ago have generally thrived along that busy corridor, and now produce shade for those who use the sidewalk — often on their way to the pedestrian lane of the nearby Arthur Ravenel Bridge.
This initiative can be expected to produce similar results over time along these seven suburban corridors, as the planting continues.
At last count, there were 8,892 trees to go.