FORT MYERS, Fla. (April 30, 2021) – The City of Fort Myers is celebrating its 29th year as a Tree City USA member. Students and city staff are planting two trees at local schools to signify this designation of the city’s commitment to effective urban landscape management.
The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters. The City of Fort Myers achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements of having: a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation. In addition, the city maintains sustainable forestry programs to that help to reduce costs for energy, aid in stormwater management, and help erosion control especially during the hurricane seasons.
This year’s Arbor Day ceremony include planting trees at both Franklin Park and Ray V. Pottorf Elementary Schools. The Ray V. Pottorf ceremony will be at 9:15 a.m. with the Franklin Park ceremony following at 11 a.m.
“Everyone benefits when elected officials, volunteers, citizens, and students in our beautiful City of Palms make smart investments in caring for our environment,” said Saeed Kazemi, City Manager. “We proudly protect this designation and are excited to teach our future leaders about the importance of sustainability.”
Trees are assets to a community when properly planted and maintained. They help to improve the visual appeal of a neighborhood, increase property values, reduce home cooling costs, remove air pollutants and provide wildlife habitat, among many other benefits.
The parks division, comprised of approximately 40 employees, successfully maintains and operates several city owned nurseries and 148 sites totaling 350 acres. This equals out to one employee per eight acres of maintenance. With a budget of $4.9 million the division continuously updates landscaping, renovates equipment and beautifies roadways, medians, and sidewalks with native flora and fauna.
More information on the general program is available at arborday.org/TreeCityUSA and information about the city’s designation can be found at https://cityftmyers.com/1335/About-Parks.