MOUNT PLEASANT — Councilwoman Kathy Landing has a plan for clearing the air of excess carbon and reducing the town's drainage and flooding issues.
Through an initiative announced on Earth Day, Landing wants to encourage each of the town's 95,000 residents to plant a tree during the seven months between national Arbor Day on April 30 and South Carolina's Arbor Day on Dec. 3.
This Earth Day initiative was announced along with two others: an art contest to find the best design to represent the town on reusable bags and a push for more groups to participate in the Adopt-A-Highway program for litter cleanup.
Landing said many people know that trees are one of the best ways to clean excess carbon from the air. She said they also are a good natural way of limiting drainage, flooding and runoff problems, which are serious issues for Mount Pleasant.
The town is researching ways to source supplies for the project so residents can purchase trees that suit their needs at a discounted price.
"We will be working with many different groups and vendors to offer everything from small seedlings and saplings, to much-larger trees," Landing said.
While there is still time before the start of this effort, Landing said she hopes local stores that sell trees, plus larger chains such as Lowe's and Home Depot, will be willing to help with the effort by providing discounts for participants.
Residents can plant the trees wherever they want on their property. People who want to participate but live in an apartment, condo or lack room in their yards can choose to plant trees in various places that will be identified by the town.
A list of these spaces will be made available at a later time. Landing said town officials already have in mind a couple of places that need trees as a hedge or for other beautification purposes. But they are reaching out to garden clubs and other community groups for feedback.
"We're planning to make this high-tech, where you can actually tell what our tree canopy is in Mount Pleasant and see where we have holes," Landing said.
A date in the fall will be set aside as the last feasible Saturday for planting, and the town will schedule special events leading up to then.
Groups across the country have organized similar tree-planting efforts as part of Earth Day. Gov. Henry McMaster on April 22 called on every resident to participate in a statewide initiative to plant 3 million tree seeds.
The project, led by the S.C. Floodwater Commission, was set to be the largest one-day tree planting event in United States history, the governor said.