Miami-Dade County partners with One Tree Planted to increase urban forestry in neighborhoods with low tree canopy
Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department is partnering with One Tree Planted, a reforestation nonprofit, to plant more than 450 trees at Amelia Earhart Park in 2023. The plantings, led by Neat Streets Miami-Dade’s Million Trees initiative, will be achieved in three phases to increase tree canopy in some of Miami-Dade County’s neighborhoods with the highest need.
“With the support of wonderful partners like One Tree Planted, Miami-Dade County is progressing to achieve its mission of a 30 percent minimum tree canopy countywide, prioritizing tree equity in our most vulnerable communities,” said County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “Investing in our urban forest is a crucial component of our county’s recently launched Extreme Heat Action Plan and overall resilience goals.”
“The 2020 Miami-Dade County Urban Tree Canopy Assessment shined a spotlight on our lowest tree canopy neighborhoods, allowing us to maximize our efforts by planting trees in areas with the greatest tree canopy disparities,” said Miami-Dade County Commissioner Eileen Higgins, Chair of Neat Streets Miami-Dade. “This project is a perfect example of how we’re utilizing the Assessment to enhance quality of life for all residents by increasing environmental justice, improving air quality, reducing urban heat island effect, and mitigating flooding through tree plantings.”
Amelia Earhart Park is a 515-acre park which sits within the boundaries of multiple neighborhoods that contain some of Miami-Dade County’s lowest existing urban tree canopy percentages, some as low as 7.4 percent. Trees planted as part of this project aim to increase the urban tree canopy of these areas, which can improve both environmental and human health benefits for residents.
Miami-Dade County Parks Director Maria I. Nardi said, “We are excited to partner with One Tree Planted and are grateful for their donation of over 450 trees to be planted at Amelia Earhart Park. Partnering with environmentally conscious nonprofits and corporations is invaluable towards fulfilling the Million Trees Miami-Dade County initiative of reducing the heat index and creating a more livable and environmentally equitable Miami-Dade County, where every neighborhood is shaded and beautiful.”
Senior Manager of Urban Forestry at One Tree Planted, Tanner Haid, added, “We have a long way to go to reach our desired outcome – a future where all people, regardless of race or income, have not only equal access to the benefits of trees, but equitable access to the resources needed to get us there. The US Urban Tree Equity Fund, which includes this project, is a meaningful step in that direction. We will continue driving resources towards communities that need them most.”
This is one of 27 projects that One Tree Planted is supporting across the United States as part of their recently launched Urban Forestry Action Fund, a portfolio of high-impact urban forestry projects aimed at planting urban trees to address environmental justice issues. These issues include urban heat, air pollution, and lack of community greenspaces, and ultimately help communities achieve tree equity.
“Building a robust urban tree canopy is essential for improving the quality of life for all Miami-Dade County residents,” said Gabriela Lopez, Miami-Dade County Parks’ Community Forestry and Beautification Manager. “We are grateful and excited to continue our long-time partnership with One Tree Planted through this project at Amelia Earhart Park, which will help us to continue optimizing our public green spaces through much needed tree plantings.”