City of Sarasota awarded $55,000 grant to help city’s trees flourish

Diseased and dangerous trees to be removed, while new ones to be planted in low-income areas, among other activities

The gumbo limbo is one of the species the City of Sarasota has made available at times for residents to plant. Photo by Yinan Chen via Wikimedia Commons

The City of Sarasota has been awarded the 2020 Managing Community Forests Grant, “which will enable staff to inventory trees throughout the city, identify diseased and dangerous trees for removal and plant new ones in low-income areas,” the city has announced.

Sarasota was the first-place recipient of the $55,000, three-year grant from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, a news release notes.

The first year, “the award will fund a partial street tree inventory that will gather information on about 2,000 trees in the city, including their condition, species, height, diameter, maintenance needs, ownership and other attributes,” the release continues.

“In the second year, an urban forest master plan will be developed to identify diseased and dangerous trees that must be removed,” the release adds. “The plan also will include recommendations for priority planting areas and will assess canopy goals, measure progress and make ordinance recommendations,” the release says.

Finally, in the third year of the grant, 115 native trees will be purchased and planted. “At least two community planting events will be planned within low-income areas of the city,” the release points out.

“The City of Sarasota recognizes the importance of trees as a community resource and has been committed to protecting and preserving them,” said Senior Arborist Mark Miller in the release. “This grant will allow us to better manage our urban canopy and add even more trees, along with all of the health and economic benefits they provide.”