Andy Carter, manager of the East Albany Wal-Mart, left, accepts the Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful Tree Stewardship Award from Kay Kirkman, chairman of the Albany Tree Board. The retailer won the annual award for implementation of its plan for trees in its parking lot.
ALBANY — The Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful Tree Stewardship Award was presented to the East Albany Wal-Mart store Monday for its urban tree plan.
Store manager Andy Carter, who accepted the award in the shade of a young oak tree, said the retailer was “very fortunate” to receive the recognition.
“In a lot of cases all you see in parking lots is blacktop or concrete,” Carter said. “Wal-Mart is trying to go a little more green each year. We were shocked because we really just try to do the right thing.”
Kay Kirkman, chairman of the Albany Tree Board, said the award is given annually to a local business, organization or individual in recognition of outstanding contributions to protect and enhance the urban tree canopy of Albany and Dougherty County.
“If we are appreciating this little bit of shade, we can certainly appreciate how customers and others that are involved with the environment would appreciate a large shade tree here. We appreciate the community support and what it does in promoting economic development in the area.”
Kirkman said the tree board felt the East Albany Wal-Mart had done an exceptional job in terms of overall beautification, going over and above what was required of them for trees in a parking lot.
Judy Bowles, director of KABD, said “The importance of urban greenspace is a quality of life issue. Trees beautify our surroundings, purify our air, act as sound barriers, manufacture oxygen and helps us save energy through their cooling shade in summer and wind reduction in winter.”
Bowles said the presence of well-maintained trees in an urban setting “reflects the community’s commitment to maintaining a healthy, vital place to reside, work and play.”
According to Kirkman, the Albany Tree Board accepts nominations for the stewardship awards and visits the sites, which are given ratings based on a variety of factors. The board then votes for the best overall contribution.
“It’s possible for any company to do this,” Kirkman said. “It’s their willingness to do so we are attempting to acknowledge.”