Kill Devil Hills, NC, USA


The Town of Kill Devil Hills is a booming beach town on the coast of North Carolina, surrounded by folklore of pirates, shipwrecked buccaneers, and barrels of rum strong enough to “kill the devil”. Located within Dare County, Kill Devil Hills is approximately 5.6 square miles, or 3,583 acres, in size. The canopy cover in Kill Devil Hills is a valuable asset providing residents and visitors with many environmental, social, and economic benefits. This assessment mapped tree canopy cover, possible planting area (PPA), and tree canopy change from 2014 to 2018 and analyzed how they are distributed throughout Kill Devil Hills’ town boundary, zoning, right-of-way (ROW), and census block groups.



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In 2018, Kill Devil Hills had 32% urban tree canopy cover and 26% possible planting area, not including any surface water bodies or wetlands within the town. Kill Devil Hills’ total land cover contained 32% tree canopy, 34% noncanopy vegetation; 4% soil/dry vegetation; 27% impervious surfaces, and 1% water. The 1,146 acres of tree canopy in Kill Devil Hills provide ecosystem benefits valued at over $755,000 per year through air quality improvements, stormwater runoff prevention, and carbon sequestration. Results from this assessment found that canopy cover changed from 33% to 32% from 2014 to 2018 (-0% or 17 acres) using the current town boundary. Nearly 40% of the town is within the Residential Low Density (RL) zoned areas. These areas contained 40% of Kill Devil Hills’ total canopy cover and 44% of all PPA in the Town. 



This assessment produced a wealth of information that can be used by the Town to set a community-wide tree canopy cover goal. The information were also provided within several subdivisions of the town that will allow for setting goals and targeting priority areas for specific regions of the community based on existing tree canopy cover, available planting space, sociodemographics, and nature accessibility.


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NatureScore by Census Block Groups in Kill Devil Hills NC
Ecosystem benefits of Kill Devil Hills Tree Canopy

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Urban Tree Canopy Assessment Insights


Urban Tree Canopy Cover


Possible Planting Area


Impervious Surface