CLEARWATER, FL. – The city of Clearwater will continue its tradition of celebrating Arbor Day by giving the gift of trees to Clearwater residents.
The annual tree giveaway event will take place Saturday, April 23 at the Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“Trees have always been integral to human life,” said Parks & Recreation Director Jim Halios, “This annual tradition not only celebrates the importance of trees and greenspace, but it also brings our community together.”
Proof of residency is required and may include a Florida driver’s license, voter’s registration card, or a recent utility bill. City arborists and a state urban forester will be available to answer questions about properly planting and caring for the trees.
Participants can choose up to two trees in 3-gallon containers. Varieties include Crape Myrtle (White Natchez, Lavender Muskogee, Pink Sioux, Red Tuscarora), Red Cluster Bottlebrush, Simpson Stopper, Walter’s Viburnum, Silver, and Green Buttonwood, Red Maple, Pignut Hickory, Pecan, Catalpa, Sugarberry, Mayhaw, Persimmon, Green Ash, Dahoon Holly, Yaupon Holly, Southern Red Cedar, Sweetgum, Sweetbay, Southern Magnolia, Blackgum, Slash Pine, Pinus Palustris, Sycamore, Chickasaw Plumb, Turkey Oak, Live Oak, Elderberry and Baldcypress.
The trees are purchased through the city of Clearwater’s Tree Bank Fund, which is supported by fines collected from violations of tree protection ordinances.
The city of Clearwater is one of 3,600 communities nationwide that participate in the Tree City USA program, sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation and administered in Florida by the Division of Forestry. Participating communities have demonstrated a commitment to caring for and managing their public trees. To qualify, a city must meet certain criteria which includes the establishment of an advisory board, enactment of a municipal tree ordinance, the celebration of Arbor Day annually and maintenance of a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita.
“Cities across the globe are facing lower air quality, limited water resources, decreased personal health and well-being, and greater energy use,” said Dan Lambe, President of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Clearwater is now a part of the solution, helping create a greener future for generations to come.”