Forest Friends

Forest Friends is a program of the Sherwood Forest Neighborhood Association (SNFA) to encourage the maintenance of our urban forest and sustainable yard practices. SFNA will provide small native trees for free, as funds allow, when requested and approved. We will also facilitate neighbors acquiring free, new street trees through the City of Columbia.

Given that our neighborhood is called Sherwood Forest, and that one of its most important defining characteristics is its healthy tree cover, the Forest Friends program will foster retention of mature native trees, replacement of trees that need to come down, and the addition of new native trees where opportunity allows. This program is intended neither to place requirements nor burdens on residents and all tree planting will be voluntary.

Detailed Rationale
Native urban trees provide much-needed solutions to the problems of excess concrete, asphalt and other impervious surfaces. They reduce summer temperatures, absorb flood waters, help avoid runoff and erosion during storm events, and provide habitat for wildlife. Sherwood Forest neighborhood is part of a unique urban green corridor along Gills Creek and its tributaries. We value being able to live in a wooded “in-town” neighborhood with rich habitat. We also appreciate that our urban forest helps to purify stormwater before it enters the streams and creeks. This program will encourage an understanding of these dynamics and support our neighbors in maintaining, and even improving our urban forest.

The Forest Friends Committee will be available to advise and assist as necessary in selecting trees and planting them. Lists of complimentary native plants to enrich habitat and landscaping will also be made available. Contact Valerie Marcil via email for more information or if you are interested in serving on the committee.

Resource Links
Native Plants Valuable to Wildlife
SC Wildlife Federation
A list by category of native trees and other plants valuable to wildlife for food and shelter.
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Native Plants Database
Audubon Society
The best results for your area (zip code) have been hand-selected by Audubon experts in your region. They are important bird resources that are relatively easy to grow and are available at native plant nurseries.
Includes purchase options.
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SC Native Plant Society Plant Lists
SC Native Plant Society
A hub for useful information about selecting, growing or finding our South Carolina native plants, and provides data about propagation, best conditions for planting, life-cycle & maintenance, and seed harvesting. Also the when, how and where to purchase many of our natives around the state.
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Natives vs. Invasives
Gills Creek Watershed Association
A simple list of what to plant in place of some of the most common, non-native invasive plants.
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Why We Need Trees in Our CitiesSmart Cities Dive
Trees improve the livability of our cities for countless reasons. However, for many years tree canopy in our urban areas has been decreasing. Large mature trees which reach the end of their lives are often replaced with smaller species – if at all. These replanted trees then struggle to establish and reach maturity due to the demands of paved surrounds around them.
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Green Square MileColumbia Green
Founded in 1984, Columbia Green improves and protects the natural beauty of greater Columbia by promoting sustainable plantings, preserving trees and green-spaces, and educating the public about the environment. With your help, we want to plant one square mile’s worth of canopy and understory trees in our community.
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The City of Columbia’s Forestry and Beautification Department maintains City trees, gateways and landscaped medians to ensure safety and to increase the quality of life for residents and visitors.

City of Columbia Reforestation
Reforestation personnel are responsible for planting trees to replace those which die or have been removed due to safety hazards in City rights of way.
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City of Columbia Treasured Trees Program
The Treasured Trees Program seeks to document and preserve trees that have significant value to the greater community and promote the awareness, benefit and value of trees to the community. Nominations for the next round of Treasured Trees will open in the Fall and will be announced early December.
The USC Belser Arboretum in the heart of our neighborhood has seven Treasured Trees recognized!
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More Forest Friends information…