Four species available, with total of 100 trees offered
As of Monday, Oct. 23, the City of Sarasota, in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, has begun offering 100 trees to residents at no cost through the Community Canopy Project, the city has announced.
The goal of the program is to help expand the tree canopies of cities across the United States, “which in turn improves air and water quality, conserves energy and lowers residents’ utility bills,” a news release explains.
“If you plant a tree in the right place, the shade it offers can be hugely beneficial in terms of a family’s annual energy bill,” said city Sustainability Manager Stevie Freeman-Montes in the release. “On top of that, this program benefits our environment in so many ways and makes our neighborhoods more enjoyable places to live.”
Residents may reserve free trees by visiting www.ArborDay.org/Sarasota. “The site provides an online-mapping tool that allows residents to look specifically at their own properties to find the best location for each tree and to calculate the estimated annual energy savings,” the release explains.
Each household may reserve up to one tree, which will be delivered to the house, the release points out. Participants must plant the trees in the locations specified by the online-mapping tool and then continue to care for them, the release adds.
Residents may choose from among four types of trees, all of which are native to Florida, the release says: sweetbay magnolia, red maple, bald cypress or shumard oak. The city will continue to give away these trees until all 100 have been reserved, the release notes.
This program is funded by the city’s tree removal surcharge, the release points out. The money is placed in the Urban Forestry account and used to pay for urban canopy protection programs such as this, the release says.