The Matthews Appearance and Tree Committee
The Matthews Appearance and Tree Committee (MATC) is tasked with assisting with the Town's tree program and overall Town beautification. In carrying out this mission, the seven volunteer members advise the Town Board as well as the Landscape Division. It also conducts it own agenda. Activities of the committee include the annual Litter Sweep and Arbor Day programs, the Tree City USA program, Town Tree Planting Initiatives, and the identification of Legacy Trees within the town limits. The Committee works hard to make the Town of Matthews an attractive and livable community.
The Landscape Division works on Town beautification issues. The Division manages the vegetation in the public rights-of-way along public streets, around public buildings, within the Town's park lands, and in any other properties falling under the Town's jurisdiction. The crew mows approximately 21 miles of street medians and roadsides as well as all other town turf. In addition, the Division plants and maintains seasonal color displays such as the downtown hanging baskets and planters along downtown streets and numerous flowerbeds at other locations. The Division also is in charge of all trees on public property, the maintenance of park equipment and structures, and the cleanliness of all public spaces. In the winter time, the Division plants trees (over 100 per year) and assumes responsibility for numerous construction projects.
The MATC meets the third Monday of every month at 7 pm in the Matthews Community Center and the meeting is open to the public. If you are interested in joining this active and important group, please contact us at 704-708-1250.
Adopt-A-Spot and Adopt-A-Street
The Town has two volunteer programs that encourage groups, businesses and individuals to care for and beautify a portion of Town property. The Adopt-A-Spot program encourages the beautification of a highly visible area that can vary in size from 10 to 500 sq. ft. The planting and maintenance of flowers or colorful shrubs are encouraged. In the Adopt-A-Street program, volunteers keep a section of roadway clear of trash. Contact the Landscaping Manager at 704-708-1250 or email for more details.
Annual Litter Sweep
Litter is an eyesore that affects the whole community. Matthews takes part in an annual statewide initiative to pickup litter on our roadsides. In conjunction with the Town's Earth Day Celebrations every April, volunteers walk Town roads and collect the treasures that others have deposited along the roadsides. See our website's calendar of events in the spring for details.
Arbor Day and Earth Day
The MATC organizes two celebrations that highlight the importance of green and sustainability issues in our daily lives. An Arbor Day ceremony that celebrates the tree is held every year in April. A tree planting and related activities are held. Also in April, an annual Earth Day celebration is held, usually in conjunction with Arbor Day. This celebration is an all-day series of demonstrations, events and displays designed to promote the importance of greening our lives. Contact the Public Works email or Parks and Recreation Departments for details.
The MATC offers a tree planting program to further beautify the area and provide a commemorative. The Celebration tree program offers the opportunity to purchase a tree for $225. A planting spot is determined and the Town's Landscaping crews take care of planting the tree. An engraved commemorative stone is also placed where the tree is planted. See brochure for details.
Cost Share Tree Plan
This is available to homeowners associations within Matthews, where a certain amount of trees are requested to be planted in the utility easement strip (the narrow area of grass between the curb and sidewalk). Generally, three to four varieties of trees are planted, with the variety changing every 10 trees. The planting schedule usually runs between October and March. The HOA pays for half the wholesale cost of the trees and the Town pays for the other half. The Town's Public Works staff would also handle the planting of the trees in the easements. For more information e-mail Ralph Ramsaur in our Public Works Department.
Matthews Treescape Initiative
The Treescape Initiative is one of the primary tree planting initiatives conducted by the Town. It is a collaborative effort between the Town, the MATC and neighborhoods that elect to be involved. The goal of the program is to plant street trees in neighborhoods that are lacking in trees or supplementing ones that have already been planted. Costs of planting and initial maintenance are shared between the neighborhood and Town. The result is a greener town and increased property values for the neighborhood. Contact us for details.
Matthews Legacy Trees
The Town of Matthews has many old, distinctive and very large trees. Many of these trees are located on private property. During periods of intensive economic development, these special Legacy Trees are often endangered. The MATC's Legacy Tree Program is designed to identify and encourage the protection of these special trees. Citizens can nominate a special tree and a MATC representative will visit the site and record the size and historical information. The Town Board can then designate the special tree as a Town of Matthews Legacy Tree. The nomination form may be emailed, mailed or dropped off to Town Hall or Public Works. See the form for details.
Tree City USA
Matthews has been designated a Tree City USA for 10 years. The National Arbor Day Foundation gives the designation to those communities in the nation who have met certain criteria set by the organization. The criteria reflect a political, civic, and economic commitment to the care of trees within the community. Only a few other communities within North Carolina have achieved this distinction.
The MATC, Public Works Departments and private citizens have all worked hard to gain this designation and to maintain it for ten years running. This is a source of pride for all of Matthews. Contact us for more information.
Matthews Tree Ordinance
One of the many codes that direct activities within the Town is the Matthews Tree Ordinance. This code deals exclusively with the planting, care, removal and preservation of trees. Its primary focus is to provide guidance on how trees are managed on public property; however, it also regulates certain activities on private property. While its applicability to private trees is minimal, it does provide measures for dealing with private trees that offer a nuisance or endangerment to citizens or to public property. In such cases, the Town has the authority to enforce compliance by either removing the tree part or the entire tree as deemed necessary for public safety.
Removal of Trees - Permits Required
This concerns the removal, damage to, or excavation around public trees.The root system of a tree extends well beyond its central trunk. Damage done to the root system during excavation or other activities can kill the tree.
A tree located with the public right-of-way of a street, within a park or on any other parcel of public property is public property. Any activity that damages this property is a violation of the Matthews Tree Ordinance and is subject to a fine. As a result, work that impacts a public tree, whether taking place on public or private property, requires a permit from the Town before proceeding.