When the Town of Cutler Bay celebrated Arbor Day on Apr. 24 there was an additional reason to commemorate its “green” accomplishments. Its ongoing tree planting efforts were recognized with a prestigious award.
The Arbor Day Foundation has for the past six years given Cutler Bay its “Tree City USA” designation, but this year for the second time in a row awarded the town a “Growth Award” for efforts over and above the usual work.
Not long after incorporation the town implemented its town-wide canopy pruning and tree trimming program and street tree planting. Town staff also increased the distribution of informational material to residents. As of April of this year the town had planted its 2,364th tree to improve the environment and beautify the community.
Rafael G. Casals, town manager, was pleased by the recognition and what it represented.
“Receiving the Growth Award for the second consecutive year is truly a milestone and demonstrates the Town Council’s commitment to new tree planting, which is budgeted on an annual basis,” Casals said. “Our Public Works Department does a great job in selecting Florida native trees, which are planted throughout residential neighborhoods and that, in turn, truly improves the community aesthetics.”
Cutler Bay achieved the Tree City USA recognition and Growth Award by meeting and exceeding the program’s requirements. The Tree City USA Program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the United States Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters. The town’s budget commitment to new tree planting is at least $2 per capita. Mayor Peggy Bell explained why she believes the program is important to the town.
“As a resident during disasters such as Hurricane Andrew in 1992, I know how long it takes for our canopy to recover,” Mayor Bell said.
“Trees are vital to our quality of life and environment. Cutler Bay has been a leader in environmental issues, right from the beginning. We remain committed to providing clean air, shade and animal habitats through planting trees.”
The program also is intended to improve storm water management, energy savings and increased property values, as well as being a boost for commercial activity.
For information on tree plantings contact the Public Works Department at 305-234- 4262 or send email to Alfredo Quintero Jr., Public Works Department director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.