Chapin, Lexington residents look skyward with Arbor Day plantings
Two Lexington County towns have planted nearly 30 trees this year culminating with Arbor Day celebrations.
Residents in Chapin created a what they think will be a future tourism draw with the strategic planting of 31 sequoia trees. The sky-high movement began in 2014 with Chapin High students, Chapin Garden Club members, nursery owner James Bryan and tree enthusiast Lill Mood.
Sequoias like the 115-foot one in Abbeville are known to be must-see natural wonders, and members of Chapin Sequoias Standing Tall want the project to unify the town and boost its profile with visitors to South Carolina. Under Mood and Bryan’s leadership, the trees have been planted at well-traveled spots during the last year and a half, many of them by students in Chapin High’s Academic Leadership Academy.
“This has been a wonderful experience because we got a lot of different people from the community involved and it provided a positive focus for our citizens,” Mood said.
Markers were designed and produced by students at the Center for Advanced Technical Studies, and Chapin Sequoias Standing Tall members placed markers at the tree sites to celebrate Arbor Day last week. Six trees are located at Chapin High School, nine were planted around Crooked Creek Park, three will grow at Chapin Town Hall, six were planted St. Francis Thrift Shop, one was planted at the home of General Steve Siegfried, and Chapin United Methodist Church and St. Francis Episcopal Church received three trees each.
Sequoias can absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide, and Mood said the town’s air quality should improve as a result of the new trees.
“As the trees grow, these young people will enjoy seeing their progress and hopefully will show and tell their children about how they made a positive difference in their community,” she said.
Karen Owens, Chapin’s director of communications and economic development, said the group has stopped at 31 trees but does want to plant more in the future.
Officials in the town of Lexington planted just one tree this Arbor Day but continued a longstanding tradition. The town has been certified as a Tree City USA, an honor given by the Arbor Day Foundation, for 25 years.
Mayor Steve MacDougall and Town Councilman Ron Williams helped plant a live oak at the entrance to Virginia Hylton Park Friday morning. MacDougall said he comes to the park almost every weekend with his daughters.
Lexington’s Parks Department also received a 2015 Midlands Area Treasured Trees award Dec. 4 from the Columbia Tree and Appearance Commission and Columbia Garden Club. A decades-old loblolly pine located in Virginia Hylton Park has been added to the area’s register of historic trees.