SHEPHERDSVILLE - Could the selection of a signature tree provide a boost in tourism in Bullitt County?
Several individuals think it might.
And, on top of that, it would make the county a much more attractive place to live and to visit.
Attorney Thomas Givhan and Dr. Mark Wourms, executive director of Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, recently sprouted the idea of having a signature tree program.
Givhan started with the premise of having an official tree for the county. After talking with Wourms, the men decided to expand that a little to maybe have a number of trees which could best fit into the landscape of the county and with Mother Nature’s blessing where there are major beautification projects.
Ideally, Givhan would like to see a single tree selected. That would be used to beautify the interstate interchanges, along roadsides and in subdivisions.
He envisions it being something like the Cherry Blossom festival in Washington.
Wourms said it is a wonderful idea to plant trees for every reason possible. And it could be a way to bring tourists to the community.
“Bullitt County has a lot of room to plant trees,” said Wourms.
The benefits include making Bullitt County a more “livable” place to be and it helps the beauty of the community, which can also aid property values.
The planting of trees also helps to control erosion, which is part of the county’s storm water program goals. With a planned program, Wourms said things tend to be more successful.
Looking for possible candidates, Wourms said two trees were selected in the categories of small, medium and large - dependent upon how tall they will grow to be in maturity.
He was also looking for something with spring and fall colors.
The candidates include:
*Black Gum, which has vibrant fall color and could grow to be 45 feet tall
*Eastern Redbud, which has spring flowers and is a medium-sized tree growing to about 30 feet
*Butterflies Magnolia, which is yellow flowers and grows to be 15 feet or shorter
*Yellowwood, which is another of the large trees
*Yoshino Cherry, which is the main tree in the Washington, D.C., festival and grows to 25-30 feet tall
*Fringe tree, which is a small tree that blossoms in the spring
Bullitt Countians will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite tree.
The Pioneer News, as a community service, will run a ballot throughout the end of the month for you to make a selection.
Once the tree is selected, Givhan said the next step would be to get businesses and residential property owners involved.
A major beautification program on Highway 245 is currently in the process of starting. Wourms said the goal is to make the interchange a green one and some of the trees mentioned would be utilized in the area.
Eventually, Wourms would like to see a scenic parkway be established from the interstate to the county line.
Bernheim has offered to provide technical expertise in how to best plant and place the trees along public right-of-ways.