City tree commission educates community


Adriana Hernandez-Santana

Kenton Macy, a retired USDA-NRCS biologist, along with the Charleston Tree Commission, talk about how they plant trees in Charleston for the new Charleston rec area at the Charleston Carnegie Public Library.

Adriana Hernandez-Santana, Feature Junior Editor

The Charleston Tree Commission made an appearance at the Charleston Carnegie Public Library to help educate listeners on the work they’ve done across town and their plans for the future. 

The commission’s mission statement is to “take an active role in the maintenance of its existing trees, as well as planning for the ongoing addition and replacement of trees within the city.” 

Not only that, the commission works to protect all the natural resources in the community. They also work alongside the Charleston City Council with any matters regarding trees throughout the city. 

Some of the activities the commission provides for the public include workshops on pepper site selection and the planting of trees, proper tree pruning techniques, and how to help with the invasive insects known as the Emerald Ash Borer. 

These pests crawl under the trees and cut off the tree’s water supply. 

The commision also works to plant trees all across town. 

A few of the places where the group helped plant trees include the Charleston Carnegie Public Library, bicentennial oaks at Lincoln-Douglas Debate Museum at Fairgrounds, the Habitat for Humanity House in Ashmore, and replacing the old bur oak tree to the East of Old Main. 

There is also a memorial bur oak tree for Vince Gutowski on campus. 

With Eastern attempting to become a tree campus, the Charleston Tree Commission has done a lot of work to make this goal possible

Retired USDA-NRCS biologist and member Kenton Macy mentions how due to COVID-19, the Charleston Tree Commission had to stop planting momentarily. 

Now that COVID-19 restrictions are easing up, the commission is excited to get back out there.

“We haven’t done a whole lot in the last couple years and stuff because of that. But we are getting geared up again.” Macy said. 

One of the newest plans is going to be adding greenery to the future Charleston South Recreation Area.

The plans are to have multiple soccer fields, beach volleyball courts and even a pool. 

Even though this may seem like alot, the commission is being called in to help add some more greenery to the area. 

Macy also mentions how the tree commission would help liven up the area. 

“[City Council] has been talking to us about how we can beautify the area,” Macy said. 

“On Arbor Friday, [kids] would be playing around the ponds, and [we would like to plant] some larger trees and stuff on both sides of the community drive,” Macy said. “For the buildings, there has to be bigger trees to provide some shade.”  

On the Coles County website, there is a way to contact someone day or night. 

It also showcases the agendas and the activities that have been done. 

For those who would like to learn more about the trees in the area, the website also provides an extended chart about all the tree sizes, their scientific name and which environments they grow best in. 

For those that feel some trees are more special than others, there is a nomination place to recommend a tree for an award. 


Adriana Hernandez-Santana can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].