Across the nation, towns are taking great strides to reclaim nature in the midst of their own bustling avenues and boulevards. In North Carolina, ten cities fight for the title of Tree City of the Year annually, competing for recognition by the North Carolina Forest Service and The North Carolina Urban Forest Council for outstanding accomplishments and efforts in their quest to bring greenery back to urban spaces. In 2018, Hendersonville was awarded the well-earned title of Tree City of the Year. It’s the type of recognition that homebuyers looking for an environmentally friendly neighborhood should pay attention to.
How Hendersonville Won
While all ten cities competing accomplished exciting and impressive things in the move towards greener cities, two initiatives put Hendersonville above the rest. First, Hendersonville has established a partnership with the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s mowing program to ensure continued and wide-spread maintenance of the city’s green areas. Second, Hendersonville has partnered with Bee City USA pollinator species program, an initiative which identifies, preserves and promotes environments where pollinating insects and animals can flourish and thrive. By becoming a member of Bee City USA, Hendersonville will work to promote the wellbeing of bees and other pollinators by creating green environments and protecting existing ecosystems where bees actively pollinate. The two initiatives signal significant steps for both Hendersonville and North Carolina overall as cities near and far press forward in protecting the green spaces that exist within their urban environments.
Innovation Wins For All Cities
Each year, entrants are judged not only on their impact on the environment but on the innovation demonstrated by their green initiatives and the degree to which the work can serve as an example for other communities. Not only did Hendersonville and its fellow competitors strive to create greener ecosystems in their urban environments, but they’ve also set the stage and demonstrated the capacity of grassroots communities and councils to band together in pursuit of environmental protection. The Hendersonville Tree Board was supported by hundreds of volunteers and staff in their mutual quest for a greener community. Their hard work in partnership with organizations like Bee City USA and the North Carolina Department of Transport serve as a testament to the overarching power of community.
Their efforts were lauded at The North Carolina Urban Forest Council’s 11th-Annual Great NC Tree Conference Awards Luncheon in late September, where the award was bestowed by the Forest Service upon Hendersonville. Hendersonville City Manager John Connet commended The Tree Board and volunteers alike, noting that “[The award] is another thing that makes our City the wonderful place it is. We could not do this without the excellent help from our loyal, hard-working volunteers.” The honor renders Hendersonville, already a quaint and picturesque city both to live in and to visit, doubly appealing for tourists seeking greenery amongst the bustling boulevards of a hip and thriving downtown. For those who’ve not yet had the pleasure, perhaps now more than ever is the time to add Hendersonville to the upcoming list of must-visit cities that are just a quick jaunt from Asheville.
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