Camden hires a city arborist to look after its trees

By Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield - bio | email

CAMDEN, SC (WIS) - It may be one of those jobs you've never even thought of, or maybe you didn't even know it existed. But for the first time Camden has a city arborist.

"We have almost one tree per person in town," said Liz Gilland. "We're only a community of about 7,000 so we have a very high tree population, which is a good thing."
That is where Gilland come into play. Trees are her thing, and always have been. "I grew up camping, in the mountains of New York state," she said.

Now, she's Camden's first urban forester. It's her full-time job to take care of the town's Christmas tree, the trees that line the streets and the trees that shouldn't. "When folks call in or come by here, think a tree is dying or a tree is leaning, then we'll check on it, clear if that's what we have to do, make it safe," said Gilland.

Trees are clearly serious business in Camden. The city has secured grants for about $25 to go towards every single tree to take care of it each year. "Without trees, our community wouldn't be as green as it is," said Gilland. "People wouldn't be attracted to Camden like they are now."

That's what the city council thinks, too. They passed a budget to add the position to the city payroll, and Gilland is taking her new title seriously. "I'm the tree lady, that's what they call me," she said.

Showing in a town like this, there's always room for some growth.

Copyright 2010 WIS. All rights reserved.