MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The City of Myrtle Beach will celebrate Arbor Day with a ceremony at the Myrtle Beach Sports Center Monday at 3:00 p.m. The ceremony is planned for outside the complex. But if it is still raining, the ceremony will move indoors.
A tree will be planted in memory of the late Sandra Rutenburg, a former Community Appearance Board member. She passed away in February 2015. City leaders want to honor her contribution to beautifying the city with this tree.
The Community Appearance Board will also recognize seven local properties for outstanding tree preservation and landscaping:
- Outstanding Use of Natural Indigenous Landscape – Myrtle Beach International Airport
- Outstanding Landscape Design Incorporating Stormwater Management – Myrtle Beach Sports Center
- Outstanding Dramatic Landscape Using Lighting and Building Placement – Ocean 22 by Hilton Grand Vacations
- Excellence in Tree Preservation Through Building Location – Radical Ropes Adventure Park
- Outstanding Residential Landscape Design and Tree Preservation – Vanderberg Residence
- The Community Appearance Board Chairman’s Award – Broadway at the Beach
- Most Improved Property Award – Hollywood Wax Museum
Myrtle Beach has been recognized as a 'Tree City USA' for the past 20 years. And on Monday the city will be honored with that recognition again. To qualify for this honor, the National Arbor Day Foundation requires any city to have a tree board, a tree protection ordinance, a budget for planting and maintaining trees, and an annual Arbor Day celebration.
The city of Myrtle Beach meets all of these requirements. The city's Community Appearance Board acts a s the tree board. There is a protection ordinance in place in city limits for certain endangered species. The city budgets $2 per capita on planting and maintaining trees each year. And Monday is this year's annual Arbor Day celebration.
Last year, the city's Parks Division planted a total of 795 trees. Diane Moskow-McKenzie is the city's senior planner. She says the tree canopy that the city has worked hard to improve and maintain impresses visitors and new residents every year. But there are other practical purposes for these trees.
"We do try to beautify our medias," says Moskow-McKenzie. "It's just a welcoming environment. And it also helps people to slow down on the roadways as well."
On top of that, the trees increase property value and help with storm water runoff. A perfect example is the 75 trees recently planted at the new Linear Park in the Market Common area back in October. The lake at Linear Park is a storm water pond. The trees help filter that water of pollutants before it hits the waterway or the ocean.
Planting trees to your yard could help increase your property value and also lower your air conditioning bill cost in the summer. That's because Moskow-McKenzie says trees also cool the environment and filter pollutants out of the air.
The city has applied for grants over the past 20 years to help defray the costs of planting and maintaining trees. These grants also help train city crews on the proper ways to plant and prune trees. The most recent grant was awarded by CSX, in the amount of $6,500 to help with planting trees. This grant will be accepted Tuesday during the city council meeting.
If you would like to plant a tree in your own yard, you can reference the "community tree planting plan" to help you choose the right species. It is available at the Chapin Memorial Library and city hall. It will show you whatever street you live on and what types of trees will survive there. If you are closer to the oceanfront, you will need to plant trees that are salt-tolerant. If you live further inland, you have a wider variety to choose from.
And if you're considering cutting a tree down within city limits, you need to get permission from the Landscape Code Enforcement Officer. You can be fined if you cut down a protected tree without permission.