Community forest guidebook aids citizens and policy-makers

By Peter Kent

STI ForestA community enriches itself when it plants trees. The Jim Self Center on the Future at Clemson’s Strom Thurmond Institute, in partnership with the S.C. Forestry Commission, has developed a guidebook to help plan community forests. Planning for the Community Forest contains a wealth of information for residents and businesses, as well as land-use planners.

For example, 100 trees each year can remove five tons of carbon dioxide, as well as 1,000 pounds of pollutants. Trees planted around a home can reduce annual air conditioning costs up to 30 percent and heating costs by 10 to 25 percent. Each large front yard tree adds one percent to the sale price; while large specimen trees can add 10 percent to property values. Customers shop more frequently and for longer time periods in well-landscaped business districts. They are also willing to pay more for parking and for goods and services in tree-lined commercial districts.

As the state’s population continues to grow, protecting our natural resources is becoming increasingly important to South Carolina citizens. This guide helps planners and citizens ensure that the issues and opportunities that could affect community well-being can be anticipated and addressed.

For information: Donna London, 864-656-0226,