By Nicholas Aziz
The Wilmington Tree Commission awarded several urban trees with its annual Tree Awards basing the criteria on tree preservation, landscape design, commitment to tree maintenance, and reforestation. The award helps to educate the public on the trees in the area to help protect our forests, a member of the commission told the Wilmington City Council on May 15.
The preservation awards were given to those that preserved the Boundary Oak next to the Basilica Shrine of St. Mary, the four magnolia trees by the Bellamy Mansion Museum, the triple-stem magnolia tree at the residence of Todd and Jodi King. Publix and Halpern Enterprises also won in this category for the Ogden Oak.
Landscape design was awarded to Sandy and Andy Wood of Habitats for “their use of native plants and trees to cater to the site”, according to Blair Walton, a member of the Wilmington Tree Commission, who further states that “it’s an urban oasis habitat for birds, butterflies and other beneficiary wildlife.”
Honorary tree awards went to TD Bank for their many programs, notably the TD Green Streets Grant that purchased 50 trees, a water trailer for irrigation, training for neighborhood tree keepers to benefit numerous tree plantings and reforestation. The second honorary award went to the Cape Fear Garden Club for aiding the local landscape and forests, including donations of both funds and volunteers for the previous TD award and established a grant to the Alliance for Cape Fear trees.
Walton concluded his presentation with asking those that attended the city council meeting to “look for opportunities for preservation, for design, for outstanding maintenance, to do within their own lives, or within the community, to assist in our mission,” and awarded each of the recipients for their contribution to the urban environment.