The Town of Cutler Bay recently planted 33 new street trees with the support of a $7,462 grant from Miami Dade County’s Neat Streets Miami Tree Matching Grant. That brings the number of trees planted to 63 tree plantings for the 2018-19 fiscal year.
Since the town was incorporated in 2005, 3,755 trees have been planted. Because of its ongoing efforts the Town of Cutler Bay was designated a “Tree City USA” for 10 consecutive years by the Arbor Day Foundation, which also awarded the town the Growth Award for five consecutive years.
Town manager Rafael Casals explained why the plantings have been a top priority for years.
“The benefits of a substantial tree canopy are priceless for our residents’ quality of life,” Casals said. “Trees not only aid to cool the area and clean the air, they promote a healthy lifestyle, increase property value and reduce energy costs.”
In an attempt to reach the “Million Trees Miami” goal of planting one million trees to achieve a 30 percent tree canopy for Miami-Dade County, Neat Streets Miami created the Street Tree Matching Grant. Funded by Miami-Dade County, this grant engages municipalities, agencies, non-profit organizations, foundations, and community groups in planting native or Florida-friendly trees on streets, including corridors, gateways, bus stops, and connections to schools and parks.
Miami-Dade County District 9 Commissioner Dennis C. Moss, who is the chair for Neat Streets Miami, explained their mission.
“We hope to encourage municipalities, agencies, and organizations to plant trees on public lands, specifically to shade roadways that lead to bus stops, parks, schools, gateways, and transit corridors throughout Miami-Dade County,” Moss said. “By incentivizing our partners to plant at these locations through Neat Streets Miami’s Street Tree Matching Grant, we are working together to create a more livable, walkable community.”
To learn more about Neat Streets Miami and the Million Trees Miami initiative, visit www.miamidade.gov/global/recreation/milliontrees/home.page.