The Miami-Dade adopt-a-tree program

Adrian G.B. Hunsberger, Joseph F. Garofalo, Carlos F. Balerdi, Donald W. Pybas

Abstract


Miami-Dade County has an average tree canopy cover of only 10% with some areas having only 2% compared to the national average of 25-40%. To help improve this situation, the county received a $6 million FDACS grant and developed a program named "Adopt-A-Tree" to give free trees to the public. Tree "adoption" events are held throughout the county, giving priority to areas with the poorest tree canopy coverage. The Miami-Dade County extension horticulture agents played an essential role in program development, provided horticultural advice, and conducted grades & standards workshops for nursery growers. The extension staff also developed a variety of bilingual (English and Spanish) educational materials to be given to participants during the "adoption" process. As part of this process, homeowners must attend an educational component before receiving trees, which includes a hands-on demonstration of correct planting techniques. During the first year (2001), over 7,000 people were educated and over 6,800 trees were distributed at seven "adoption" events. The number of trees to be distributed will eventually total 184,000.

Keywords


grades and standards training; tree canopy replacement; tree planting

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283