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‘We Dig Salisbury’ plants trees to beautify Innes Street

By Liz Moomey
liz.moomey@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Through a collaboration between the Community Appearance Commission and Tree Board, the city on Saturday hosted a “We Dig Salisbury” event to encourage environmental education and promote the environment.

Attendees planted a Kousa dogwood at L.A. Murph’s on N. Link Avenue and a weeping Yoshino cherry tree at Nationwide Insurance — 1515 W. Innes Street — with the aid of city arborist Mark Martin.

The city’s urban design planner and staff liaison for the commission, Alyssa Nelson, was inspired by Winston-Salem’s Community Roots Day, where residents spend a day planting trees in the city. Nelson said she wanted We Dig Salisbury to complement BlockWork — where volunteers move paint, landscape, clean and make other improvements to neighborhoods. 

Linda Jones, a member of the Tree Board, said the event chose Wet Innes Street as the location for tree planting based on the city’s so-called tree inventory. The board spoke to business owners about their preferences and thought about how a tree at full size would affect traffic.

The city provided $2,000 to help We Dig Salisbury.

On Saturday, Martin provided information about his job as an arborist and guided the tree planting. He said the city is attempting to beautify Innes Street with trees and make business owners and residents more aware of the value trees bring to the environment and the community.

Jessica Buckwalter helped plant trees and said, “anything environmental I’m excited about.”

Martin said clay can be challenging to work with, but it also holds water and organic nutrients. He also told attendees that the top of the tree is considered the brain and spoke about how to correctly shear a tree.

Lewellen Padgett, a member of the Community Appearance Commission, said she enjoyed learning about caring for the environment and tree care from Martin.

Smith and Nelson said they would like to go into several neighborhoods and plant trees next year.

Several community organizations set up booths to educate about local environmental efforts. Muddy Sneakers, an outdoor education program, set up mud and clay painting and a tub of sand to learn about animal tracks — a hit with kids.

The organizations Bread Riot and Happy Roots also spoke about upcoming events and community involvement efforts.

Attendees were also given the option to take home a loblolly pine or a crepe myrtle tree to plant along with a brochure of how to do so. Martin said the two trees are hearty and easy to grow. Jones said they also make for a great gift.

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