Harold Green, of 104 Walnut Circle, Pine Knoll Shores, is the Vice-Chairman of the PKS Community Appearance Commission (CAC). He has lived in PKS for thirty-five years, moving here in 1982. Prior to moving to North Carolina, Green lived in the Washington, DC area, which is also where he spent his childhood. After serving in Japan as a result of being drafted during the Korean War, he attended the University of Maryland and received a degree in horticulture.

After graduation, Green lived in Florida, working for a family owned, landscaping firm. However, not being a family member limited his opportunities for advancement and so he moved on. Green has a terrific sense of humor and enjoys talking about many topics, except for himself! After working in Florida, he found himself back in the Washington DC area in a job with the US Department of the Interior (DOI). The Park Service, a branch of DOI, is responsible for the White House grounds, where Green worked for more than five years, during the Ford, Carter, and Reagan administrations.

The logistics involved in overseeing a large staff, handling more than 10 acres of land prepared Green well for his duties on the PKS CAC. Consequences for property owners can be significant if the advice of the CAC are disregarded. Aggressive pruning will result in a fine, such as the “totem pole” style of tree pruning, where the limbs are cut back all the way to the trunk of the tree, leaving very little foliage to support the life of the tree. In these instances, in addition to paying a monetary fine, property owners are also responsible for replacing the tree. Ocean front property has additional code to be aware of, including the restriction on all pruning between April 1st and October 31st.

The PKS CAC needs highly qualified volunteers, such as Green, because they must review and identify 224 tree removal permits, and 32 major and minor landscape permits annually. The volume of work the CAC handles is due to PKS history and the town code. These elements funnel into a challenging job for the committee.

Alice Green Hoffman (most likely no relation) and the Roosevelts who inherited her land, which became Pine Knoll Shores, were all environmentally minded. Hoffman maintained her land in its natural state and the grandchildren of a president who doubled the number of parks in the National Park System (https://www.nps.gov/thrb/learn/historyculture/trandthenpsystem.htm) carried Hoffman’s approach out in the covenants placed on Pine Knoll Shores at its conception.

The PKS Town Ordinances 74-64 through 74-86 cover tree preservation and landscape planning, and the value of trees as safeguarding and enhancing real estate values; reducing noise, glare, and heat; conserving

Harold Green and his cat Simba in his Pine Knoll Shores living room

energy; buffering noise and wind; mitigating storm water runoff; protecting properties from erosion; providing habitats for animals; and encouraging the most appropriate use of land throughout the town is codified. Not only do the ordinances recognize the importance of vegetation, but they also emphasize the importance of native, indigenous species and the reduction of invasive plants; thirty-six plants are listed in the town ordinances as being of “special concern” for planting. Other duties the CAC handles are approving applications for the PKS Heritage Tree Program and overseeing all trees in the public areas of the town.

You may want to consider driving by Harold Green’s house – his personal landscaping style is a pleasure to see, even if he’s not pleased with the current state of upkeep. You might learn a few expert horticulture tips and gain an introduction to his cat, Simba, if you’re lucky.

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