Black Mountain to give away free trees with eye to stormwater mitigation

Karrigan Monk
Black Mountain News
The Black Mountain Beautification Committee will assist the town of Black Mountain in giving away 60 trees to residents to help with stormwater mitigation.

The town of Black Mountain will be giving away 60 trees to residents, one per household, on Oct. 15.

Stormwater technician Anne Phillip said this pilot program is meant to help with stormwater mitigation.

“We wanted to just do something extra to provide value back to people and also help them do some stormwater mitigation on their private property,” Phillip said. “We came up with the idea of giving away trees because trees can help mitigate stormwater in a few different ways and can be easily given out and placed on people’s private property.”

The idea comes as part of Black Mountain’s efforts to stay in compliance with its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.

In 2021, the town created a stormwater program with its own funding, which is part of the permit requirements. Residents are now charged a new utility fee for the services.

Phillip said this is something that happens away from residents and the town was looking for ways to bring residents in.

“That’s not something the everyday person living here gets to see or feel or understand the impact of daily,” Phillip said. “We have been brainstorming different ways to provide value for basically everyone that lives here.”

Phillip said the goal with the tree giveaway is to help residents understand they have a variety of ways to deal with stormwater management. Because the town cannot interfere on private property, much of stormwater mitigation falls to private residents.

The town is partnering with the Black Mountain Beautification Committee for the giveaway. Secretary Lyndall Noyes-Brownell will be in attendance and said she and a few other members will be there to answer questions about the trees and how and where to plant them.

Residents will be able to choose from several species: tag/hazel alder, Allegheny/coastal plain serviceberry, river birch, red twig dogwood and American fringetree.

“What I really hope is people have a good appreciation for trees,” Noyes-Brownell said. “Trees play such an important role in our environment. Not only do they help taking care of the extra stormwater that we have, they absorb that through the roots, but they’re a great canopy and help with protecting that land. They’re great with the insects and they provide shelter for them and for the birds.”

The event will be held at 304 Black Mountain Ave., the Terry Estates public parking lot across from the town of Black Mountain public works building. Trees will be given out from 9 a.m. until noon, or until all trees are gone.