The City of Aiken, in consultation with Bartlett Tree Experts, is moving forward with the next step in its development of a tree canopy assessment and urban forest management plan.  A public information drop-in session will be held Thursday, November 9 from 5 to 7 PM at the Municipal Conference Center (214 Park Ave SW) in downtown Aiken.

All feedback received from the public and other key stakeholders will be carefully reviewed and considered in finalizing the comprehensive management plan.  A formal presentation to City Council summarizing all findings and recommendations identified in the comprehensive management plan is anticipated to be held in late January 2018.

Data collection has been completed in the four organizational categories: the Parkways, the Arboretum Trail, road rights-of-way, and all City-owned properties.  The development of a tree canopy assessment and forest management plan will accommodate for the long-term maintenance and care of the City’s magnificent trees.  Funding and in-kind support for the project have been identified by the City of Aiken through a unique partnership with the Aiken Land Conservancy and the Citizen’s Advisory Committee, comprised of local volunteers.

The financial commitment and volunteer efforts supporting this project are deeply appreciated by the City and will provide many benefits for the community, including a healthy and robust tree canopy providing shade for cooling and reduced energy consumption, reduction of air pollutants, a reduction in stormwater runoff, and water quality improvements.  A healthy and maintained tree canopy will also increase property values and aesthetics and is linked to the mental and physical health and well-being of residents.