By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Trees are more than pretty faces
Keep Liberty County Beautiful
Placeholder Image
Trees are certainly lovely to look at, but don’t be deceived. Trees are much more than a pretty face. Trees provide substantial benefits to our community. Trees provide significant economic, health and social benefits for all of us. Georgia’s annual Arbor Day celebration is Friday, Feb. 20. It’s coming up fast, so let’s take a moment to think about these leafy benefactors.
I want to share with you my top list of tree benefits. No, these probably won’t show up on Letterman and they won’t be as funny, but they might make you see trees in a new light.
8. Recent research shows many business owners consider landscaping to be an outdoor extension of the business’s customer service commitment. They think nicely placed trees and plants send a message of care and improve the company’s overall image. In addition, the presence of trees has a positive effect on occupancy rates and residential home sales.
7. Trees enhance community economic stability by attracting businesses and tourists. Customers are willing to pay as much as 10 to 15 percent more for certain goods and services if businesses are located on attractive, tree-lined streets.
6. Neighborhood green spaces or greenways typically increase the value of properties located nearby. Healthy trees can add up to 15 percent to residential property value.
5. Strategically placed trees around a home can reduce summer cooling costs by as much as 30 percent, while winter heating costs can be reduced by a similar percentage if homeowners use trees as windbreaks.
4. Studies have found a correlation between community forests and the average amount of physical activity exerted by neighborhood residents. People are more inclined to get outdoors and exercise when their surroundings are greener. Logically, greater physical activity leads to fewer cases of obesity, which in turn may help reduce other health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes.
3. Children who spend more time outside pay better attention inside. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder children, in particular, are better able to concentrate, complete tasks and follow directions after playing in natural settings.
2. Trees provide opportunity for physical fitness. Urban forests, parks and open spaces have become increasingly popular as places to walk, run, bike and hike.
And the number one reason to make sure you have plenty of trees in your life:
1. Less violence occurs in urban public housing where there are trees. Studies have identified a direct correlation between the amount of trees and grass in community common spaces and the use of those common spaces by residents. This leads to more opportunities for informal social interaction and greater relationships between neighbors. Research done by Sullivan and Kuo in 1996 suggests that trees afford a place for neighbors to get to know each other and develop a network of support.
So, there you have it. Thanks to Regional Community Forester Daniel Westcot for the wealth of information he provided during a recent Progress through People Luncheon sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.
Trees benefit all of us. In the words of my favorite president, Theodore Roosevelt, “To exist as a nation, to prosper as a state, and to live as a people, we must have trees.” Good old Teddy was always looking out for the environment.
And besides, trees are just gosh darn pretty.

Upcoming Keep Liberty Beautiful events:
• Through Feb. 15, telephone book recycling. Several drop-off locations for phone books and large catalogs will be available around the county. For more information, contact Keep Liberty County Beautiful at 368-4888 or
• Through Feb. 11, live oak photo competition and exhibit. Entry information is available at and as well as the Coastal Courier’s Web site. All entries must be delivered during Feb.6-11.
• Feb. 16-20, community tree planting. Sign up your business, group or agency to help plant trees in celebration of Georgia Arbor Day. Trees can be planted in honor or in memory of someone special. To reserve your tree(s), call 368-4888 or 368-4445.

Swida is the executive director of Keep Liberty County Beautiful. For more information, contact her at 368-4888 or
Sign up for our e-newsletters