In FY 2000, the Department of Public Works & Transportation introduced a program that would provide street tree and ornamental shrubbery plantings throughout the County. This concept was designed as commitment to a policy of re-establishing the aesthetics of our rural road system and as a revitalization strategy within our downtown areas and development districts. Benefits of this program include:
Increased real estate values Improved air quality Improved perception of noise quality Improved wildlife habitat Improved psychological well-being Improved aesthetic environment Additional landscaping throughout urban areas provides a much needed breath of fresh air and is needed to help "soften" the downtown street-scape and beautify the community. The streetscape improvements add an element of invitation and environmental appeal to its surroundings.
The Department also has the ability to add street furniture such as benches, trash receptacles and directional signage at key locations. The Department is responsible for the perpetual maintenance of any physical improvements that it provides. This includes watering, fertilization and replacing seasonal vegetation as necessary. Although the DPW&T and developers will begin installing trees, we look to property owners to help us with maintenance. As such, the individual property owner plays a vital role in the success of this Program. Permits are required for planting or removing street trees and street furniture that has been installed in the public right-of-ways.
Landscaping and Beautification
Landscaping and beautification efforts range from simply cutting grass and pulling weeds to establishing parks with benches, walkways, trees, picnic tables, grills, or playgrounds. Other efforts include painting murals, establishing gardens and flower-beds, or converting sites into natural areas. Local schools and university cooperative extension services can assist at urban gardening sites or in projects involving establishment of plants requiring little or no maintenance. Communities where residents have limited access to public areas are ideal for such projects. Local industry and community groups can assist in landscaping and improving the physical appearance of areas. Such beautification efforts can ward off potential dumpers.