ReLeaf Washington Washington, NC

ReLeaf Washington is a community in Washington in North Carolina. It was founded by Dick Leach and Mack Simpson. It is dedicated to revitalizing the city. It is focused on environmental quality protection. The ReLeaf Washington community is an important part of beautifying the city. It involves a group dedicated to the protection and beautification of the environment. The process involves planting more trees around the city. The community is focused on planting trees to;

· Line the streets

· Grace the parks

· Add cooling shade

· Increase beauty

The organization seeks to plant, promote, and protect trees. They plan to make Washington a greener, cooler, prettier, and healthier place.

The Board

ReLeaf Washington is led by a board of 7 members. Of the seven, there is a president, a vice president, a treasurer, and a secretary. The actual current board members are;

1. Heather Moore Thienpont, President

2. Mack Simpson, Vice President

3. Dick Leach, Treasurer

4. Susan Sizemore-Watson, Secretary

5. Meredith Loughlin, Board Member

6. Hannah Tubaugh, Board Member

7. Attila Nemecz, Board Member

Membership

There are five options for those who want to be members. These are dependent on levels. The levels are set by a donation sum used in fundraising. The amount you donate to the organization groups you into specific levels. These levels include;

· Forest – $1000

· Sequoia -$500

· Live Oak -$200

· Red Oak – $100

· Cypress Tree – Under $50

You can also donate in honor of others, such as family and friends.

Beaufort County Community College

ReLeaf Washington is in a partnership with Beaufort County Community College (BCCC). Clay Carter partly funded the project and made it possible. He is the college’s director of personal enrichment. He is also a member of ReLeaf Washington.

Six trees were planted on the college campus. The trees improve the wetland that was recently constructed. The wetland is developed by Sound Rivers. The wetland catches rainfall from rooftops of surrounding buildings and parking lots. It then releases this water into Broad Creek in a span of three days. This eliminates the effects of pollution in the area. Up to 140,000 gallons of water can be held in the wetlands.

There are other plants in addition to the trees. These include;

· Three winterberries

· A bald cypress

· A sweet bay magnolia

· An Atlantic white cedar

These plants work with the trees to clean the water. They also help with creating a habitat for wildlife and beautifying the project.

P.S. Jones High School

Seven live oak trees were planted at a park in P.S. Jones High School. One live oak tree costs $160. The founders of ReLeaf Washington depend on members and partners of the organization. Members and partners donate money for the trees. They wanted the trees to cover the open and wide space. After asking their members, the founders got a call from James Smallwood. Smallwood is on the board at ReLeaf Washington. He offered to share the cost with the organization.

Bobby Andrews Recreation Center

Some Washington Parks and Recreation staff members offered to help with the trees. They paid for one tree at Bobby Andrews Recreation Center. It was in honor of a deceased coworker. This was the first live oak tree to be planted at the Recreation Center.

The efforts to add trees in Washington has gained popularity. The organization receives donations from generous individuals and groups.

Open Door Women’s Shelter

ReLeaf Washington is working with the Open Door Women’s Shelter. An anonymous donor surprised ReLeaf with a donation of two trees to the women’s shelter. The donor paid for two trees. In addition, ReLeaf Washington also paid for two more trees to be planted at the shelter.

The trees are suspected to be white oaks. This is because white oaks grow to become extremely big. They will be planted in the kids’ playground in the park of the shelter. This will provide shade for the children and some additional place to play. There may be a treehouse on one of the trees in the future.

Mac Hodges Festival Park

There are various trees around the town. Among them is a sturdy oak in Festival Park. It was planted in honor of Mayor Mac Hodges. The tree was among projects by ReLeaf Washington to fulfill their mission.

The oak was planted on 20th October 2020. It is part of two projects. The projects include the efforts of;

· ReLeaf Washington

· Public Works Department at Washington

· Little Nursery crew from Greenville

· Rivers and Associates from Greenville

Greenville’s Rivers and Associates were doing the renovations on downtown Main Street. The project involved replacing three trees. The trees were on the corner of Stewart Parkway and Main Street. This is why the company had to be included.

Little Nursery came in with a huge spade. They needed it to lift the tree. The root ball of Mayor Mac’s tree alone was 12,000 pounds. The huge spade came in handy. It was used in both projects.

The four trees in the project were donated by Rusty Duke of Farmville. He is a retired Supreme Court Judge and got ReLeaf started by donating:

· A live oak for the memorial of Mayor Mac

· Three willow oaks to replace those at Stewart Parkway

To Plant, Promote, and Protect Trees

ReLeaf Washington has been operational for 20 months. In this time, the organization has planted almost 55 trees, working in conjunction with other advocacy organizations in the region. In addition to those listed above, ReLeaf has also worked with Beaufort Community College and created a wetland near the western end of the campus with them, and also planted several live oak trees there as well.

The organization’s mission is to plant, promote, and protect trees. They have focused on the tree planting part in these first few months. Planting also serves as a promoting function. They have to tell communities about the specific trees and how to best care for them. The next part for them is to start protecting the trees. Their efforts towards protection and beautification are incredible at best.