Todd Rademacher, planning director for Surf City, said the Pender County town has a two-tiered policy when it comes to protecting trees.
On Topsail Island, which the town shares with Topsail Beach and North Topsail Beach, and mainland areas adjacent to coastal waters, Surf City has tree-protection rules in place to maintain and enhance its green canopy.
The ordinance basically requires landowners to replace trees that are removed. They also have the option of paying into a fund, which Surf City then uses to purchase and plant trees elsewhere in town.
But on the mainland, there are currently no rules for protecting trees that aren’t adjacent to coastal waters.
And Surf City is a Tree City USA community and has been for eight years.
The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation and helps promote and foster appreciation of urban forests in communities across the country.
According to the foundation, benefits of being a Tree City include citizen pride, increased educational and grant opportunities, better stewardship of forest resources and helps promote a positive public image to visitors.
Requirements to be considered for a Tree City designation include a tree board or department, tree ordinance and a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita.
Date posted: May 12, 2010
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