“Bald cypress planting caps Key Biscayne’s recognition as Tree City USA”

“Bald cypress planting caps Key Biscayne’s recognition as Tree City USA”

Photo: Juan Castro Olivera

“Key Biscayne residents will have it made in the shade soon, with 59 trees to be planted from a Miami-Dade County Neat Streets grant, and a 60th tree which was recently planted at Lake Park with the help of young students from the K-8 School.

That 10-foot bald cypress will be symbolic of the Village’s latest award, being named Tree City USA for 2022 by the National Arbor Foundation for its, well, tree-mendous efforts on beautification, adding oxygen into the atmosphere and extending the precious canopy to keep the environment cooler.

Olga Garcia, Zoning Plans Reviewer and Planner with the Village, was presented with the official certificate from the National Arbor Day Foundation during the last Village Council meeting by Mayor Joe Rasco for her efforts in getting Key Biscayne designated as a Tree City USA community. village council meeting

‘It’s a very nice thing to get; Olga handled most of the application,’ said Jeremy Calleros Gauger, director of the Building, Zoning and Planning department. ‘I think the symbolic portion of it is how much tree canopy Key Biscayne had added over 30 years, even 10 years.’

He said the island’s 26% coverage is more than most other Miami-Dade municipalities, but ‘there’s still room for improvement.’

Key Biscayne becomes the 165th Tree City USA in Florida and one of 3,653 recognized cities across the country, ‘a relatively small number when you think how many cities there are,’ Calleros Gauger said.”

— Hillard Grossman, Islander News

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“Alternatives To Using Sod For Right-Of-Way Plantings Presentation to Sanibel City Council”

“Alternatives To Using Sod For Right-Of-Way Plantings Presentation to Sanibel City Council”

Photo: City Of Sanibel, Phillippi Creek project

“City initiates pilot program for right-of-way plantings”

“The city of Sanibel reported that at its recent meeting, the city council approved by consensus a pilot program that will study alternatives to using sod as a required planting in the city’s right-of-way.

Public Works and Natural Resources staff delivered a presentation that explained the history and purpose for using sod in the right-of-way and potential alternatives to sod. The city reported staff will identify locations in the right-of-way to plant native or Florida friendly plants for the pilot program.

Residents interested in participating in the pilot program, by planting approved plants in the right-of-way, can contact Natural Resources at 239-472-4135. Planting in the right-of-way requires a permit from the Public Works Department…”

— City Of Sanibel, in Captiva Sanibel Island Reporter

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Equitable Tree Program in Miami: “Caleb Center tree planting”

Equitable Tree Program in Miami: “Caleb Center tree planting”

Photo: Miami-Dade County

“Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and District 3 Commissioner Keon Hardemon were joined by other county officials and a group of children from Easter Seals for a tree planting ceremony last week at the Joseph Caleb Center. The event kicked off the mayor’s initiative to increase the tree canopy in low-income neighborhoods, beginning with county buildings.”

— The Miami Times

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“Tampa man started as a tree planting vigilante. Now he’s planted 30,000.”

“Tampa man started as a tree planting vigilante. Now he’s planted 30,000.”

Photo: Jefferee Woo, Times – From left, Lauren Mones of St. Petersburg, Florida Urban Forestry Council executive director Deborah Hilbert and Tampa Bay Reforestation and Environmental Effort president Will Moriaty plant an Olympian fig tree at the 22nd Street South Community Garden in St. Petersburg on April 13, 2023.

“Tampa man started as a tree planting vigilante. Now he’s planted 30,000.

William Moriaty founded the Tampa Bay Reforestation and Environmental Effort 40 years ago.

A mysterious phenomenon occurred all around Tampa Bay in the late 1970s and early 1980s. When the sun went down and the streets were empty, someone clandestinely planted trees in parks, thoroughfare and empty lots.

‘People had no idea where they were coming from,’ William Moriaty laughed.

Photo: Will Moriaty, 1973

“Moriaty eventually admitted he was the culprit leading a group of volunteers in the rogue plantings. In 1983, he went legit by forming the Tampa Bay Reforestation and Environmental Effort.

In the 40 years since then, the organization has planted 30,742 trees, according to Moriaty, who still helms the nonprofit. He’s been nicknamed the Johnny Appleseed of Tampa Bay due to his efforts.

Moriaty considers it the highest compliment to be compared to the pioneer nurseryman who planted apple trees throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and West Virginia. But the nickname also does not give proper credit to the scope of the nonprofit’s work.

Yes, Moriaty’s group has planted apple trees — Anna and Dorsett Gold, which he said can be grown in Central Florida.

But the group’s 40 members don’t limit themselves to apple trees.

‘If it is native to this area, we have planted it,’ said the 68-year-old, who lives in (we can’t make this stuff up) Plant City.

In all, the Tampa Bay Reforestation and Environmental Effort, which Moriaty calls ‘T.R.E.E.’ because ‘Bay’ was only recently added to its name, has planted 266 different types of trees at 619 locations throughout the area…”

— Paul Guzzo, Tampa Bay Times

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“Green gardening: Phipps Ocean Park redo will be model for sustainability”

“Green gardening: Phipps Ocean Park redo will be model for sustainability”

Photo: Kim Frisbie

Photo: Kim Frisbie

“I was fortunate to have a recent tour of the wonderful Phipps Ocean Park. This exciting project will be a tremendous gift to the residents of Palm Beach.

The Preservation Foundation’s plans for the renovation of this 18-acre area include educational facilities and native landscaping to promote and restore environmental sustainability. In 1948, the Phipps family donated 1,200 feet of ocean frontage for use as a public park to ensure the land remained open in perpetuity. The park has not been well-managed in the intervening 75 years, is grossly underutilized, and currently consists of just some random paths and picnic tables with a few cabanas. Plantings are infested with invasive species including Brazilian pepper and melaleuca, and it is not an inviting area to visit.

Enter the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach in 2019 with a master plan for the park, incorporating educational facilities with native landscaping to restore, protect and preserve the coastal and intracoastal vegetation. Unique, diverse, and extraordinary spaces will inspire visitors to understand and appreciate the importance of environmental sustainability. With Raymond Jungles’ vision to promote the park as a nature preserve, it will be planted with only native species, capturing the original spirit of the land as the Phipps family knew it. Visitors will gain exceptional education and information on plants they can add to their own landscapes, seeing how different species grow on coastal and inland areas…

Phipps Ocean Park will also embody an important coastal restoration center dedicated to growing native species for the park and for the Town of Palm Beach. This nursery/propagation facility will provide hands-on activities for children and adults for restoring coastal ecosystems throughout the island or in their own landscapes…

The historic Little Red Schoolhouse, built in 1886 and recently restored to its one-room glory, will interact with a new outdoor classroom sponsored by the Garden Club of Palm Beach to provide additional educational opportunities for children in an engaging native setting…”

— Kim Frisbie, Palm Beach Daily News

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Alternative Turf: “Longboat Island Chapel Using Clay Brick Pavers instead of Artificial Turf”

Alternative Turf: “Longboat Island Chapel Using Clay Brick Pavers instead of Artificial Turf”

Photo: Longboat Island Chapel

“In August 2022, the Longboat Island Chapel’s Board of Trustees approved the Grounds Committee’s request to replace dead turf around Friendship Garden’s gazebo with clay brick pavers in a decorative design installed by Seven Stars who maintains the Chapel’s brick pavers.

Turf around the gazebo in the Friendship Garden has not done well because of 1) lack of enough sunlight even though the tree canopy above it was opened, and 2) chairs and people atop the grass for weddings and events damage the turf.

The University of Florida IFAS Extension Service does not recommend synthetic turf, because it is not Florida-Friendly. They published the following:

Protecting and preserving Florida’s water resources through sustainable landscaping practices on living landscapes is the primary focus of the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program.

 When considering the use of a synthetic turf system in the urban landscape, it is important to understand all the potential environmental impacts. Synthetic turf systems have not been shown to improve or create wildlife habitat, do not improve groundwater recharge, can heat excessively in the sun and, in more extensive installations, can cause a substantial heat island effect.

In addition, synthetic turf generates higher stormwater runoff than natural turf and has been shown to leach a variety of contaminants, including both organic compounds and heavy metals.

Finally, since synthetic turf is primarily plastic it has a finite lifespan and must eventually be disposed of in a landfill, a practice that is counter to the sustainability goals of the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program.

So as to better accommodate weddings and events, the Grounds Committee recommended replacing the turf with the same style of clay brick pavers within the Friendship Garden but installed in a decorative design.

Benefits of the brick pavers are:

– They are Florida-Friendly.
– These areas will have the same height as existing pavers, reducing risks of tripping on raised turf.
– The areas will be level to place chairs.

The brick pavers were installed the next month in time for a wedding ceremony and reception at our Chapel in September on Labor Day weekend!”

Photo: Longboat Island Chapel

— Ingrid McClellan, Scenic Florida

Read about Longboat Island Chapel Weddings