Trees Boost Community Events
Rod Nicholson is mayor of the Town of Terry, Mississippi, population 1,500. He knows the meaning of southern hospitality and the value of social events. And, he has learned how central tree planting can be to those goals.
With grant dollars from the Mississippi Urban Forest Council, large-caliper Shumard oaks, Nuttall oaks, water oaks and red maples were planted in a little-used park in the middle of town, along streets and on the high school grounds. All were strategically planted to encourage attendance at outdoor events, providing shady pockets during Mississippi's hot summers.
"A town that is alive with trees somehow helps to awaken the spirit in its people," Mayor Nicholson says. "It has definitely contributed to the Town of Terry's vitality." Young people using the basketball court and participants at the Spring Fling, Fourth of July picnic and Fall Festival are especially grateful for the trees.
Were it not for assistance of the state of Mississippi, the town would not have obtained the resources needed to fully realize the benefits of urban forestry. "Planting trees gives us the most bang for our buck," the Mayor adds, and he plans to do even more, planting on an annual basis in bare areas and to replace dying and damaged trees. Terry is currently a Tree City USA community.