Divisions & Staff
The City of Mount Airy Landscape Department consists of the following divisions:
  • Beautification
  • Mowing
  • Parks
  • Cemetery
There are nine employees in the Landscape Department with two seasonal positions during the growing/mowing season. This department also serves the 12-member Appearance Commission and the Cemetery Commission.

The Beautification Division is responsible for planting and maintaining various city-owned lots. They also plant and maintain 76 downtown hanging baskets, 42 planters, 14 half baskets and hayracks, and 28 beds throughout the city.  Each year the division plants over 7,000 annuals. The hanging baskets take a lot of care and maintenance with over 800 hours spent on them each season. The baskets are placed on the street in mid-May and removed in mid-October. This division is responsible for keeping the streets and sidewalks clear of weeds as well.  

The Mowing Division is responsible for keeping city rights of way clear by way of bush hog, sidearm, and other tractor-type mowing. They also maintain numerous city-owned properties as well. These employees are responsible for mowing overgrown lots that may be abandoned by notice from the codes officer. The mowing division clears overhanging limbs and other plant material from street sidewalks so that visibility is not a problem.

Michella J. Huff is the Landscape/ Cemetery Supervisor.  She also serves as staff liaison to the Appearance Commission and the Cemetery Commission. She is responsible for selling grave plots as well as laying off plots. The city also has a 68-niche columbarium that can hold cremation remains. View costs of plot / niche here.

How's It Growing is a quarterly article by Michella Huff,
Grounds Maintenance Supervisor

Spring 2016 edition:This One's For The Birds

Your yard and the flowers, shrubs and trees in it matters to birds!  Plants provide important food sources for birds.  Natural areas continue to decrease and so do native plants.  Native plants are those that occur naturally in your area.  North Carolina is home to thousands of native plant species.  Native plants are a home for our birds.  Why are native plants important for birds?  Insects!  Virtually all land birds- 96%- require insect food for their young.  Native plants support healthy populations of insect, including caterpillars, that breeding birds feed their nestlings.  However, non-native plants contain foreign compounds that most native insects won’t eat.  Without insects for food, baby birds starve.  By adding native plants to your yard, you can help restore the imbalance created by non-native plantings and ensure the survival of future generations of birds.  A great resource for finding what native plants selections are, (NC Native Plant Society) and (NC Botanical Garden).  Here are a few native plants and the food sources it provides to birds:

  • Spicebush – Larval host plant, feeds baby birds
  • Oaks – Larval
  • Blueberries  - Larval
  • Wild Indigo – Larval
  • Birches - Larval
  • Dogwood – Berry – producing, energy packed treats
  • Winterberry Holly – Berry
  • American Beautyberry – Berry
  • Viburnum – Berry
  • Fringe Tree - Berry
  • Maples – Seed/nut producers
  • Purple Coneflower – Seeds/nut
  • Joe-Pye W=weed – Seed/nut
  • Black Eyed Susan – Seed/nut
  • Hazelnut – Seed/nut
  • Virginia Pine – Seed/nut
  • Wild Bergamot Bee Balm – Nectar producers
  • Aster – Nectar
  • Buttonbush – Nectar
  • Cardinal Flower – Nectar
  • Red Buckeye – Nectar
  • Flame Azalea – Nectar

Many nonnative plants are beautiful but do not provide enough resources to sustain bird populations.  The above list of plants will provide beauty and color for your own yard while nurturing the bird’s habitat as well.