Celebrate Arbor Day in the Midlands

Arbor Day in SC celebrates with tree plantings and the Columbia Canopy Project, honoring history and planting for future generations.

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Richland County students plant a tree on Arbor Day. | Photo by Richland County

Today is Arbor Day in SC, celebrated each year on the first Friday in December. Known as the tree planter’s holiday, schools and organizations in the Midlands are planting trees today to celebrate the benefits of nature’s skyscrapers.

The Columbia Canopy Project

This project, spearheaded by Historic Columbia and Columbia Green, aims to plant memorial trees in Columbia’s historically marginalized communities. It’s an effort to address structural racism, celebrate community leaders, and promote urban greening.

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A canopy of trees in Congaree National Park. | Photo by Andrew Parlette

Andrew Parlette

Timber Tales

Tree planting as a commemorative act has historical roots in Cola, as seen in the tribute grove at the State House grounds, including seedlings dedicated to George Washington.

During the grand opening ceremony outside the Anne Frank Center at USC, a sapling taken from the chestnut tree in Amsterdam was planted. This is from the same tree she looked at often for the two years she spent hidden away writing in her diary.

Fun fact: Congaree National Park is home to some of the tallest trees east of the Mississippi. Thanks to conservation efforts and the unique ecosystem, the loblolly pines grow more than 167 ft tall — that’s about half the height of The Capitol Center on Main Street, which is the tallest building in the state.

Keep an eye out for the next Big Tree Hike to get an up-close look.

Money grows on these trees

$23.2 billion. That’s the economic impact of forestry statewide, including timber, logging, pulp + paper, furniture, and more. That accounts for 100,000 jobs and $5.5 billion in labor income.

Celebrate Arbor Day by attending the Columbia Canopy Project launch event at Drew Park (2101 Walker Soloman Way) at 10 a.m. today, or check with TreeSC to learn more about tree health and what you can do to keep your canopy healthy and strong.