Cayce leaders celebrate Arbor Day; city begins application for Tree City program

Cayce Mayor Elise Partin and Assistant City Manager Shaun Greenwood place the first shovefuls of dirt on a new crepe myrtle tree at Granby Gardens Park during the city's Arbor Day celebration. (photo by Rachel Ham)

Cayce Mayor Elise Partin (left) and Assistant City Manager Shaun Greenwood place the first shovelfuls of dirt on a new crape myrtle tree at Granby Gardens Park during the city’s Arbor Day celebration. (photo by Rachel Ham)

Granby Gardens Park now has a brand-new crape myrtle after the city of Cayce celebrated Arbor Day on Tuesday morning.

Mayor Elise Partin, City Manager Rebecca Vance and Assistant City Manager Shaun Greenwood were joined by Parks and Recreation staff at the children’s park next to City Hall. Although Arbor Day is held nationally on the last Friday in April, cities and towns in South Carolina have commemorated the celebration of green spaces in December since 1934.

Tuesday was the second time the city has marked Arbor Day formally with a tree planting. City workers added a tree to the campus of Davis Early Childhood Center for Technology last year.

A public park was chosen as the location for Arbor Day 2013 so the city can apply for the Tree City USA program. The program is offered through the National Arbor Day Foundation and recognizes municipalities for promoting forestry, educating others about natural resources and planting more trees. Being a Tree City doesn’t come with any funding, but Partin thinks the program is a worthwhile effort.

“The Cayce community continues to demonstrate a commitment to caring for and managing our trees and green spaces,” she said. “Trees not only beautify our parks, streets and our Riverwalk; they also add to our overall quality of life here in the city of Cayce.”

More than 3,300 communities across the country are certified by the Tree City USA program. The organization claims the recognition can help people organize efforts to better care for regional forests, to plant more trees that boost a city’s aesthetics and air quality and to improve community pride.

If Cayce’s application is successful, new signage will be added to main thoroughfares to let visitors and residents know the city is tree-friendly.

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