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With your help, we can keep our home in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains beautiful.


The Polk County Appearance Commission seeks to preserve the incredible diversity of our beautiful native flora through encouraging the preservation of existing significant natural lands, new plantings of native plants, and the removal of invasive plants. Invasive plants pose a grave threat to our county due to their ability to out-compete our native plants, thereby destabilizing one of the most diverse, beautiful, and highly valued ecosystems in the world. We are currently utilizing North Carolina State University’s “Invasive, Exotic Plants of the Southeast” as a guide.


Our most pressing invasive plant concern is of course kudzu; we are currently working with Conserving Carolina to come up with a plan of attack for 176 from Tryon to Saluda. Other invasives of great concern are English Ivy, Periwinkle, Wintercreeper, Bradford Pear, Burning Bush, Japanese Barberry and Multiflora Rose. 


Excellent resources for both invasive plant information and suggestions for native plants:

The North Carolina Native Plant Society.

The South Carolina Native Plant Society

Native & Invasive Plants


The Annual Beautification Awards are for projects that the public can view and enjoy. To receive one of these award certificates, the beautification work must be something that the general public can see from public roads or sidewalks or be on a property that is open to the public. The property can be either privately or publicly owned. To receive this award, the improvement project must enhance and improve our communities in ways that the public can see and appreciate. 

During the year the members of the Appearance Commission encourage our community, business and civic leaders to create and complete projects that make our county more inviting, more attractive and more interesting. At the end of the year, the Appearance Commission members evaluate the various improvements that have been completed and select the award winners. 

By presenting a Beautification Award to these groups and organizations we thank and acknowledge the people who have made an exceptional contribution. These improvements make our county a better place to live, work and visit.

The award certificates are presented at one of our County Commissioner public meetings. A newspaper article with photographs informs the public about each award winner and their beautification project. 

The 2020 Beautification Awards were awarded to:

  • Matt Lassiter for improvements and the mural at the Harmon Field open air gym

  • The Harry Dallara Foundation for improvements to the baseball field at Harmon FIeld.

  • The Town of Tryon for the Nina Simone mural at the Sunoco station at the intersection of Highway 108 and 176.

The 2019 Beautification Awards were awarded to:

  • The Town of Tryon for Rogers Park Amphitheater new stage cover 

  • Green Blades Garden Club for new landscaping at The Park on Trade

  • The Town of Columbus for the Charter of Freedom monuments at Veterans Park

Click here to view a list of Beautification Award winners

Beautification Awards


Since 2012 the Appearance Commission has led a variety of projects across the county.


  • Gateway Trees with NC DOT, Polk County Community Foundation and Town of Columbus, Mill Street, Columbus


  • Flagpole & Installation, Ag Center, Mill Spring 

  • Courthouse & Tourist Office landscaping 

  • Shutters on the Womack Building

  • Recycle containers – artist made for City of Saluda


  • Oak tree for St. Luke’s Plaza, Tryon


  • Cleaning & preservation recommendations of Doughboy Statue, Columbus

  • Recommendation of location – Charters of Freedom in Veteran’s park

2013 - Present​

  • Ongoing care of landscaping in front of the Polk County Courthouse in Columbus

Additional Projects
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