By Mike S Payton, Contributing Reporter
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – The City of Miami Beach will soon be welcoming more trees, after being awarded a $40,000 grant from Neat Streets Miami. Officials announced earlier this week that they are putting forth reforestation efforts in the Normandy Isles neighborhoods and Brittany Bay Park.
“We’re excited to be working with Neat Streets Miami for a fourth consecutive year,” shared Mayor Dan Gelber. “With their help, we’ll be able to plant native trees that will be key in attaining our goal of building a more walkable and sustainable city.”
A Miami-Dade County initiative, Neat Streets Miami leverages local resources to enhance the urban forest. As part of the $439 million general obligation bond approved by seventy percent of voters last November, a match-funding payment of $54,000 of the total $5 million allocated from the Street Tree Master Plan will further amplify reforestation efforts in these areas.
“We hope to encourage municipalities, agencies and organizations to plant trees on public lands, specifically to shade roadways that lead to bus stops, parks, schools, gateways, and transit corridors throughout Miami-Dade County,” shared Miami-Dade County District 9 Commissioner Dennis C. Moss.
“By incentivizing our partners to plant at these locations through Neat Streets Miami’s Street Tree Matching Grant, we are working together to create a more livable, walkable community.”
In addition to creating cooler streets, a prosperous tree canopy also intercepts thousands of gallons of urban stormwater runoff, reduces carbon monoxide, conserves electricity and improves overall health for residents.
“This new quantitative evaluation shows [forest] restoration isn’t just one of our climate change solutions, it is overwhelmingly the top one,” said professor and senior study author Tom Crowther of ETH Zurich.
As part of the Neat Streets initiative, the city will plant 101 trees, including Simpson Stoppers (Myrcianthes fragrans), Wild Tamarinds (Lysiloma bahamensis), Gumbo Limbos (Bursera simaruba), Green Buttonwoods (Conocarpus erectus) and several other Florida-friendly tree species to provide shade and beautify their community.
These trees will primarily be planted in areas with low tree canopy and low-to-moderate income populations toward a goal of achieving at least thirty percent canopy coverage in all neighborhoods – the average number for trees per neighborhood in Miami-Dade County.
Launched by Neat Streets Miami, the Million Trees Miami initiative is a community-wide effort to achieve a thirty percent tree canopy cover for Miami-Dade County.
Neat Streets Miami is a multi-jurisdictional county board dedicated to the maintenance and beautification of transportation corridors, gateways and connections.