According to TD Bank Senior Retail Officer Chris Yance, cities from Key West to Portland, Maine applied for a $20,000 "Green Streets" grant for tree planting and sustainability training for local residents. Ultimately Tampa was one of just 10 such cities nationwide to receive that grant, which will be invested in the V.M. Ybor and Tampa Heights neighborhoods of the city.
"When I got elected I said I was going to plant 1,000 more trees than what we were doing every year," said Mayor Bob Buckhorn at an event this morning in V. M. Ybor. "We should be closing in next spring on an additional 4,000 more trees that we have planted in this community.
"It makes it more livable and more enjoyable for the neighbors," he went on. "This makes a quantifiable difference in their lives and it beautifies their community," adding that he in particular prefers "flowery trees and color."
In addition to current tree planting, more will follow in the fall. Following that, city arborists will work with the University of Florida to implement a stewardship program, educating residents about how to care for our urban forest. According to spokeswoman Ali Glisson, if that proves successful, that training will be expanded throughout the city.