The Virginia Beach Beautification Commission is an independent organization incorporated by the State Corporation Commission on May 19, 1965.
When our Charter was issued, there was widespread concern about the lack of funding by our City for the installation and maintenance of plant material. There was also a concern in the private sector over the lack of ordinances that would give direction and incentives in the protection of our trees, reduce littering and restrict the use of over-sized and objectionable billboards.
Our first project was to sponsor an initial Crape Myrtle planting to show our City government that their citizens were, indeed, serious about improving the beautification of our environment. In 1972, $50,000 was appropriated by the City Council to supervise landscape maintenance. From this meager start our City now has a separate division that coordinates all landscape services and includes a City Arborist position.
The VBBC has also been responsible for the enactment of many City ordinances that protect our environment. Other important accomplishments are: the establishment of the official recognition of Arbor Day; the catalyst in amending local and state litter control laws; the strengthening of the billboard clauses in the Comprehensive Zoning ordinance; and we were instrumental in providing for more tree protection in the latest amendment of the Erosion and Sedimentation Ordinance.
Our past has been filled with many milestones that have had a part in the orderly growth of our great City. The VBBC continues to speak for those citizens of our community who are concerned about the protection of our environment.
At the Annual Awards Dinner, the VBBC awards a scholarship to a Tidewater Community College horticulture student from Virginia Beach. Landscaping awards are also presented to winners in Residential, Commercial and Institutional categories at this time. The awards are presented on a rotation basis among the seven voting districts in Virginia Beach.
The VBBC annually sponsors a Tree Award to the garden club who plants the most trees on public property through the Council of Garden Clubs of Virginia Beach’s Awards Program. Through a joint effort the VBBC and the CGCVB sponsor the Awards of Merit certificates to businesses who consistently maintain attractively landscaped and litter-free premises. We also annually co-sponsor Arbor Day with the City every April.
A newsletter highlighting the VBBC’s activities is published and mailed out to members quarterly.
The Virginia Beach Beautification Commission sponsors an educational information booth at the Master Gardener's Fall Gardening Festival in September. The cost of the Arbor Day tree is paid for by the VBBC.
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To foster and encourage the planting of trees, ornamental shrubs and flowers on and along public highways, streets, and other public properties in the City of Virginia Beach.
To preserve and enhance the natural beauty of the community as permitted by the Municipal authorities.
To encourage the creation and beautification of public parks and recreational areas.
To protect and preserve the waterways, beaches, and other natural beauty of the City so future generations may continue to enjoy them.
To encourage the owners and occupiers of private properties to beautify their properties, bordering streets, highways, and other public places.
To encourage civic and garden clubs/organizations in their beautification projects.
To take all such reasonable action as may be appropriate to eradicate or screen from view ugly and unsightly objects and areas.
To dispose of trash and litter in a proper manner. To recycle, reduce and reuse.
To monitor and make recommendations for the control of signs and other like structures which may result in visual pollution.
The preservation of native live oak trees and other significant native species is strongly encouraged. The live oak tree is the City of Virginia Beach's official city tree.