Green Space Is Vital To Community Health And Wellness

By: Lynne Hart

Local Businesses Recognized

KALB is always pleased when we see new stores and businesses coming to Athens. What makes us really happy is seeing that green space is incorporated into the landscaping plan!

When I visit a community filled with tree-lined streets, parks, and landscaped homes and businesses, it makes me feel good; however, it’s not just me. There are studies that show the benefits of green space, landscaping, and trees to our well-being.
According to the National Parks and Recreation Association, parks are emerging as important public health solutions in urban communities. They state that nearly 40 years of research evidence confirms that nearby nature, including parks, gardens, trees (urban forest), and green spaces, support human health and wellness.

The University of Washington’s Urban Forestry/Urban Greening Research found that common, persistent stressors may have a greater impact on health and well-being for most people than other traumatic situations. The research also showed that exposure to experiences in nature helps to counteract stress and promote wellness. Nature creates a restorative effect that can ease the mind and heal the body.

It is exciting to know that the property purchased by the City of Athens on Pryor St. will include a park for everyone’s enjoyment!

There are many other reasons that investing in the creation of green space in a community is very beneficial. Here are a few:

  • Concrete and pavement cause a rise in temperature in the surrounding areas. According to, grass can be up to 31 degrees cooler than asphalt and 20 degrees cooler than bare soil.
  • Grass and tree canopies help reduce noise pollution.
  • A study by the U.S. Forest Service found that neighborhoods with tree-lined streets and larger yard trees have reduced crime rates.
  • Studies have also shown that just looking at plants and trees, even through a window, can reduce stress and lower blood pressure.
  • Some hospitals and long term care facilities are adding gardens and green space as part of patient therapy.

Local Businesses Awarded For Beautification

The Athens-Limestone Beautification Board, a division of KALB, recognizes the importance of beautifully cared for properties, and they celebrate those efforts by presenting Beautification Award signs to businesses, churches, and public buildings that are nominated and pass stringent standards.

Judging took place recently and the Beautification Board is proud to present Beautification Award signs to the following locations. Congratulations to these businesses for their efforts to maintain beautiful, manicured, and litter-free landscaping!

Highest Scores

The following 6 properties received top honors by scoring 98 or above out of 100 points:

  • Clayton Homes – 100 pts.
  • American Leakless Company – 99 pts.
  • Limestone Health Facility – 98 pts.
  • Chick-fil-A – 98 pts.
  • Calhoun Community College – 98 pts.
  • First Presbyterian Church – 98 pts.

Additional Award Recipients:

  • Ardmore Welcome Center
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites
  • Athens-Limestone Hospital
  • Steelcase, Inc.
  • Athens State University
  • Town and Country Animal Hospital
  • Dr. Nester Pagan, Chiropractor
  • First National Bank
  • Burger King (Hwy. 72)
  • Athens Police Department (Hobbs St.)
  • Persell Lumber and Mill Shop
  • Traditions Senior Living
  • Holiday Inn Express
  • Hampton Inn and Suites
  • Bojangles
  • Garner Auction
  • First Baptist Church

By: Lynne Hart
Executive Coordinator – Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful