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Collaboration Between Local Agencies and Neighborhood Groups Results in Grant to Develop and Nurture Tree Canopy in West Davidson

by | Feb 15, 2024

Volunteers planting trees at The Bungalows.


A collaborative effort to nurture and expand the tree canopy in West Davidson has received a Town of Davidson grant of $24,000 to be spent in phases over three years. The project is entitled “West Davidson Canopy & Native Landscape Enhancement.”

The Town of Davidson’s Tree Canopy Enhancement Program provides funds for eligible nonprofits to protect, expand, and promote Davidson’s tree canopy. While most grant applications are submitted by a single agency or organization, the West Davidson Canopy project involved the collaboration and input of a broad coalition.

Volunteers planted two Ginkgo trees and one Weeping Cherry.

The grant application was coordinated by lead agency, Davidson Lands Conservancy, led by Executive Director, Dave Cable. Davidson Lands Conservancy’s TreesDavidson program works along with DLC to plant trees and help assure the health of Davidson’s tree canopy. Davidson Housing Coalition, led by Executive Director, Connie Wessner, was an early and enthusiastic partner in the proposed project, as it focused on providing healthy tree canopy and landscaping enhancements to the organization’s rental communities and the broader neighborhood it serves. Town Commissioner Tracy Mattison Brandon became involved with the project through her role as representative of the Davidson West Neighborhood Meeting group. Cherese Spand, a representative of the nonprofit organization, Legacy on the West Side, is also a project partner.

Joined by Town of Davidson’s arborist, Andrew Sileo, the collaborative group seeks to benefit residents and the environment by protecting the health of West Davidson’s mature tree canopy, by planting new trees to expand the existing tree canopy, and by working together with residents to create wildlife-enhancing gardens and climate-resilient landscapes that reflect the historical legacy and importance of West Davidson.

The project targets a wide range of participants and properties, including Ada Jenkins Community Center, Davidson Cornelius Child Development Center, Davidson Housing Coalition and its rental communities, owners of deed-restricted or land-leased homes in DHC’s and the Town’s affordable inventory, houses of worship in West Davidson, Town of Davidson owned lands, and private property owners who choose to participate in the project. The project envisions extensive neighborhood engagement. A series of meetings and listening sessions will seek guidance and feedback from West Davidson residents.

The tree planting has already begun. Saturday, February 10, a group of volunteers from TreesDavidson and representatives from Davidson Housing Coalition gathered to plant three new trees in front of residences at the Bungalows on Jetton Street. Two were Ginkgo trees and one was a Weeping Cherry. The new trees replaced trees that had been damaged and subsequently removed. The town’s arborist Andrew Sileo also provided DHC with some helpful tips for caring for the new trees, which DHC will share with its landscaping team. Careful watering and attention are key to ensuring the health of the young, growing trees.

Connie Wessner of DHC is thrilled about the opportunities the grant has opened up for the partners to deepen their service in the community. “It’s our goal at DHC to focus our efforts and actions on the whole community, while meeting the needs of the residents we serve.”

Dave Cable of Davidson Lands Conservancy, speaking from his office on Wednesday, was clearly excited about the many opportunities for planting and protecting trees, creating landscapes, and enhancing the community made possible by the grant, and was looking forward to working with “an engaged community of residents and partners.”

Lyn Batty

Lyn Batty, a Charlotte native, practiced law in North Carolina for 15 years before transitioning to academic librarianship and teaching. Lyn and her husband David have lived in Davidson since 2009. Lyn previously co-authored the “Common Laws” legal column for

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