Communities derive many benefits from their urban forests, including improved air quality, increased stormwater filtration, reduced heat island effects, and positive physical and mental health impacts.
A 2013 tree canopy study in Sarasota County indicated just 35% vegetation coverage in the urban service area. Since the county has experienced considerable land (re)development since 2013, we developed the Treejuvenation urban forestry program to highlight the benefit from urban trees.
Treejuvenation is a UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County program that aims to increase urban forestry community engagement by helping residents recognize and appreciate their tree assets. In addition to community outreach and promotional media campaigns, the Treejuvenation program hosts a Florida Arbor Day TreeQuest scavenger hunt in January, National Arbor Day tree adoption events in April, Project Learning Tree youth seminars in summer, and NeighborWoods walks in October.
Treejuvenation also collaborated with New College of Florida in 2018 to complete the certification process for achieving recognition as Florida’s 21st Tree Campus USA location.
And although it is very easy to take trees for granted while we’re moving at the speed of life, life as we know it could not exist without trees. Trees are an asset to our communities.