BRADENTON – Arbor Day isn't until Friday, but events are already under way in commemoration of the annual holiday, which celebrates the tremendous importance of trees. On Thursday, the City of Bradenton and Manatee County will install over a dozen trees to restore a tree canopy on Manatee Avenue West. On Friday, the cities of Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach will add to the beauty of Anna Maria Island with plantings. Keep Manatee Beautiful has been hard at work all month ensuring Manatee County and its communities live up to their Tree City USA designations.
Using a $10,000 Urban and Community Forestry Grant for Information and Education that Keep Manatee Beautiful received from the US Forest Service through the Florida Forest Service, local municipalities’ tree boards received a PowerPoint presentation and publications they selected to make them more effective and to educate their citizens on how to select, establish and maintain trees and palms in Central Florida. Tree public service announcements are also airing on METV, while grant funds help to enforce tree ordinances.
The City of Bradenton and Manatee County Government will install 13 trees to return canopy on Manatee Avenue West at various properties between 15th Street West and 62nd Street West as part of their Corridor Tree Canopy Program. These trees will be easily identifiable with a green ribbon tied around each tree. The Corridor Tree Canopy Program is coordinated by Keep Manatee Beautiful, Bradenton’s Tree & Land Preservation Board, and Manatee County’s Environmental Lands Management & Acquisition Advisory Committee/Tree Board.
At 9:00 a.m. Friday, the City of Holmes Beach Parks and Beautification Committee will be planting a green buttonwood at the trolley stop and canal on 77th Street at the intersection of Marina Drive. At noon, the City of Bradenton Beach Scenic WAVES will be celebrating on Bridge Street by replanting the east roundabout near Bay Drive with native landscaping donated by the Bridge Street Merchants Association.
Keep Manatee Beautiful and the Manatee River Garden Club will also be planting trees on Manatee Avenue West at Palma Sola Causeway near Flamingo Cay next week to replace those that did not establish their initial planting in 2009. 165 communities from Florida and more than 3,400 communities nationwide are currently a Tree City USA. The many benefits of being a Tree City include creating a framework for action, education, a positive public image, and citizen pride.
Locally, Tree City USAs include Anna Maria, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, Palmetto, and Manatee County as a Tree County USA. To become a Tree City USA, these governments meet the following four requirements set by the National Arbor Day Foundation: a community must have a tree care ordinance, a legal tree governing body, a comprehensive urban forestry program and an Arbor Day observance.
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