We are proud to announce that the City of Miami Beach has again been awarded the prestigious Tree City USA designation. Certification as a Tree City USA for 2010 marked our fifth year anniversary. The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service. The Tree City USA designation recognizes communities that have proven their commitment to a healthy urban forest and an effective urban forestry program. It honors the efforts of the elected officials, city staff and citizens who work to maintain and enhance the urban forest.
To qualify for Tree City USA a city must meet four standards: a tree board or department with responsibility for the care and management of the city’s trees, a tree care ordinance, a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day Observance and Proclamation.
Trees are a vital part of the city’s infrastructure, providing numerous environmental, economic and social benefits. Among the identified benefits of trees are cleaner air, reduced energy usage, less storm water runoff, amelioration of high urban temperatures, higher property values, improved aesthetics, a greater sense of well-being, reduced anxiety levels and lower crime rates. Being designated as a Tree City USA further adds to Miami Beach’s positive image, and proclaims to visitors, convention organizers and prospective businesses that ours is a community that cares about a healthy environment and the quality of life.
The designation rewards the various people who have worked so hard to ensure a vital urban forest, and encourages residents to plant trees and properly care for those they have. The Tree City USA designation also assists the city in obtaining grant money that is allocated for trees or urban forestry programs. Despite declining funds for urban forestry grants, the Urban Forestry program has been awarded three Urban & Community Forestry grants in recent years. The grants assisted with tree planting, the removal and replacement of six hazardous Australian pines, the purchase of a water tanker truck to promote better water use efficiency and survival of newly planted trees, and the trimming of mature mahogany trees on Alton Road.
We all should be very proud of this designation not only because it demonstrates our commitment to a healthy urban forest but also because the effort and planning that justify the designation positively contribute to our community’s sustainability efforts, which will ensure that present and future generations will enjoy and benefit from the resources of our beautiful community for many years to come.
Look for future Miami Beach Parks and Recreation news and programming in your Recreation Review, call our offices at 305-673-7730 or visit our website at www.miamibeachparks.com.
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