Charleston Parks Conservancy launches effort to help manage flooding and reduce urban heat by increasing urban tree canopy

April 27, 2023

Photo Credit: Charleston Parks Conservancy

Charleston Parks Conservancy has announced the relaunch of its Charleston Trees Program in honor of Arbor Day on April 28. Charleston Trees was formed in the 1990’s as a result of Mayor Riley’s initiative to plant 10,000 trees in the City of Charleston. In 2015, Charleston Trees became a subcommittee of the Parks Conservancy’s Programs committee and is now launching a focused campaign to encourage businesses and residents to plant native or naturalized trees on their private property with the goal of increasing the urban tree canopy.

As part of this effort, the Charleston Parks Conservancy, in partnership with the Power Plant SC initiative presented by Duke Energy, is thrilled to offer free trees to residents of the City of Charleston during an event at the Citadel Mall on April 28. During the event, City of Charleston residents who registered can choose from 3-gallon live oak or swamp chestnut oak trees. Trees must be picked up on Friday, April 28 between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. at the Citadel Mall.

“In 1991, a group of environmentally-minded Charlestonians in partnership with the City of Charleston, set out to plant trees on public properties. The organization was later named Charleston Trees and through its fundraising efforts City staff was able to plant thousands of trees in neighborhoods on the Neck, the peninsula, West Ashley, James Island, Johns Island, and Daniel Island,” said Danny Burbage, former Urban Forester for the City of Charleston and founding member of Charleston Trees. “The time has come to pass that critically important baton and Charleston Trees confidently and gratefully passes it on to The Charleston Parks Conservancy.”

Also on April 28, the Charleston Parks Conservancy is partnering with local breweries that are donating proceeds to the Charleston Trees Program with “Cans for Canopies.” Participating breweries include Munkle Brewing from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., The Garden at Charles Towne Fermentory from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Revelry Pop-up from Shots and Vin at 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

In celebration of the Charleston Trees Program relaunch and in honor of National Poetry Month, from now until May 21 the Conservancy is holding a Tree Photo and Haiku Contest. The public is invited to send an original photo of a tree along with a haiku poem that it helped inspire now through May 21. Two winners will receive a gift card to spend in the Conservancy merchandise store.

“The Charleston Parks Conservancy is honored to continue the phenomenal work that the Charleston Trees program has done to improve the landscape and health of Charleston’s public green spaces. A thriving tree canopy is essential to the resiliency of our city and the well-being of the people and wildlife that inhabit it,” said Devon Andrews Director of Partnerships and Engagement at the Charleston Parks Conservancy. “They not only help manage flooding and stormwater, and help to reduce urban heat, they also have a proven impact on the mental and physical health of our communities.”

Throughout the summer and into fall, The Conservancy will continue to educate and raise awareness about the immense benefits of the urban tree canopy. The Conservancy is honored to carry on this important work by facilitating tree giveaways, workshops, and neighborhood plantings in areas of the city with little or no tree canopy, all to encourage neighbors to extend the benefits of Charleston’s parks into their own landscapes.

For more information and to register for events, visit the Charleston Parks Conservancy website.


About the Charleston Parks Conservancy

The Charleston Parks Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring the people of Charleston to connect with their parks and create stunning public places and a strong community. For more than 13 years, the Conservancy — through public-private partnerships — has had a hand in renovating and beautifying more than 20 parks in the City of Charleston. In 2020, renovations were completed at Moultrie Playground and at St. Julian Devine Community Center & Park. Other notable projects include the complete renovation of Colonial Lake, the renovation of the Rose Pavilion at Hampton Park as well as Magnolia Park and Community Garden and Medway Park and Community Garden. For more information, visit, Twitter / Instagram: @charlestonparks, and Facebook / YouTube: @CharlestonParksConservancy.