Lewisburg-based non-profit works to replace city’s dying trees

Riverbend Landscaping
Riverbend Landscaping(WVVA)
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 6:27 PM EST
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LEWISBURG, W.Va - (WVVA) - The Lewisburg foundation has been around since the 1980s. Since then, its members have worked to sustain the survival of the downtown business area, mostly through beautification.

In the last several years, the city has seen a decline in the greenery of its urban forest. Now, the foundation is creating a tree replacement program to help out.

“I think it’s mostly a continuation of the wonderful historic tree canopy that’s always been here,” said President of the Lewisburg Foundation, Tag Galyean. “The trees that we’re losing are, in many cases, a couple hundred years old. If we don’t do something...we will be missing the tree canopy we’ve always had and it will be too late to fix it.”

Josh Polan is the foundation’s vice president and horticultural advisor. He explains that Lewisburg’s trees have been dying off from old age, but also from disease. He says this is why they are choosing to plant multiple species across the city on both public and private lands.

“This way, we’ve got a mixture of trees that are evergreen and deciduous, bloom and fall color, and we don’t have all our eggs in one basket. So, if something would happen to one of these species of trees, let’s say in 2050, we’ve still got a lot of trees that are successful.”

Riverbend Landscaping, a local company, was at Lewisburg’s Hallowell Park on Monday, November 21, helping plant the first six of the program’s trees. The business’ owner, Byron Black, says it’s great to imagine how these trees will continue to serve the city for years to come.

“We feel very fortunate to be included in this process,” Black said. “You know, I really think that the next hundred years of Lewisburg’s greenscape will benefit from projects like this.”

Black’s crew will return on Tuesday to finish the project. This round will see a total of 17 trees planted.

The Lewisburg Foundation plans to continue this project each year and hopes to see 200 trees planted in the next 10 years. Those wanting to offer their land as a planting site are asked to contact the foundation at 304-647-3520. Additionally, yearly funding for the project is expected to be close to $20,000. The foundation will be seeking grants, as well as contributions from members.

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