With Apr. 27 officially proclaimed Arbor Day, the Town of Cutler Bay announced the planting of its 1,000th tree. It’s part of an ongoing program to enhance the community that has been underway since incorporation, according to town manager Steven Alexander.
“We started that program back in our first budget year and it’s one of the things that I wanted to get done because this area got hit so hard by the hurricane that wiped out all the trees,” Alexander said. “Trees add so much not only to the character but to the value of the homes. So every year since we’ve been in existence we’ve had a budget item for trees and we’ve planted between 200 and 300 trees every year.”
One of the town’s public policy statements explained, “Trees are essential to life by reducing heating and cooling costs, cleaning and purifying the air, providing shelter and food for wildlife, and by planting and taking care of our trees, an invaluable contribution is being made to the lives of future generations.”Alexander continued, saying that a benefit the town has been able to negotiate lately may also reduce costs.
“One of things we’ve done with the most recent vendors is that we’ve gotten guarantees on those trees, typically a year guarantee, so if anything happens to the tree in its first year they replace it,”he said.
Every year since 2009 Cutler Bay has received the prestigious “Tree City USA” designation from the Arbor Day Foundation. The tree-planting program is something that the manager anticipates will be ongoing, which he credits to the mayor and council members.
“It’s been something that the council has been very supportive of over the years and it’s just a great thing people got from being a city that they never would have gotten from the county,” Alexander said. “As a matter of fact, last year’s numbers — we spent as much on trees in Cutler Bay as the county did in the county. There’s never been a discouraging word from the council. Even when it’s time to cut the budget they’ve always been very supportive.”