Bank of America, Million Trees Miami and local residents will plant trees in Liberty City
Washington, D.C. (October 8, 2015) — As part of a broader commitment to restoring tree canopy in Miami-Dade County, American Forests conducted a volunteer event on Oct. 14 with Million Trees Miami, Bank of America, the 79th Street Coalition for Change and Liberty City Elementary in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood to plant 100 trees on park and elementary school properties, as well as on the street right-of-way.
American Forests worked with the University of Florida and Florida International University, using LIDAR imagery and i-Tree software, to analyze tree canopy coverage as it relates to stormwater, heat island and social factors such as race and public health in the densest, growing urban core of Miami-Dade County. The study area’s urban tree canopy, including shrubs, covers only 12.2 percent of area and removes more than 72 tons of air pollution annually, equating to more than $2.6 million in health benefits, not including the more than $35 million dollars’ worth of carbon dioxide stored in the trees themselves.
“When such a populated part of the County has such a low tree canopy, it’s clear we have a lot of work to do,” said Miami-Dade Commissioner Dennis C. Moss, Chairman of Neat Streets Miami, who oversees Million Trees Miami. “It’s reassuring to know we have partners like American Forests and Bank of America to leverage the County’s investment in trees.”
And, the effort is something the country is certainly proud to be investing in, said Maimi-Dade District 3 Commissioner Audrey Edmonson.
“This public-private partnership will result in much needed shade for Liberty City children and residents, while also beautifying the neighborhood,” said Edmonson. “We are proud to be part of this greening effort.”
The study also found a higher proportion of tree canopy and other vegetation relates to lower surface temperatures and identified potential areas for expanded tree canopy.
The planting day has extended the benefits uncovered by the study to students at Liberty City Elementary School, something Superintendent of Schools Albert M. Carvalho says will bring much excitement for the students.
“Trees are important to our environment, and they contribute to the natural beauty and serenity of our surroundings,” said Carvalho. “As a result of the generosity and collaborative efforts of several community-focused organizations, a total of 100 trees will be planted at Liberty City Elementary School. Students and staff will be greeted each morning by a welcoming and beautiful campus landscape. Even more exciting for students, the trees provide lessons in environmental science and a reminder of our responsibility to protect the earth.”
The study, and this volunteer planting, will help the county move toward a more sustainable environment for the community, said Gene Schaefer, Bank of America Miami market president.
“Working on this project with American Forests and Million Trees Miami will not only beautify Liberty City but create a more sustainable and cleaner environment for those who live here,” said Schaefer. “It is public and private partnerships like this one that truly transforms communities, making them better places to live and work. We are grateful for the opportunity to have spent the day outside volunteering with such a committed group of people; the work they are doing is instrumental in revitalizing Miami as well as in ensuring the health of our urban forests and expanding tree canopies throughout the county.”
And, as a more sustainable environment is created, more people will begin to understand and appreciate the true value urban trees provide to the community, said Scott Steen, American Forests president & CEO.
“Anyone who appreciates the shade of trees on a hot day intuitively knows the value of trees goes beyond aesthetics,” said Steen. “But, the latest science is able to give us much more precise metrics on what our urban forests do for health and well-being, on top of their beauty. American Forests is working with Bank of America and other partners to make sure that people all around the city understand the tangible value of trees to all, including a particularly big difference to the health and success of people in disadvantaged neighborhoods.”
ABOUT AMERICAN FORESTS
Founded in 1875, American Forests was the first national nonprofit conservation organization in the U.S. Its mission is to restore threatened forest ecosystems and inspire people to value and protect urban and wildland forests. In the past 25 years alone, American Forests has planted nearly 50 million trees in approximately 1,000 high-impact forest restoration projects. These projects have restored hundreds of thousands of acres of wildlife habitat, protected vital watersheds and sequestered millions of tons of greenhouse gases. American Forests is also one of the nation’s leading advocates for expanding urban tree canopy and green space, and a key funder of urban forest initiatives that have transformed communities across the country. Learn more at www.americanforests.org.
Bank of America Corporate Social Responsibility
Bank of America’s commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a strategic part of doing business globally. Our CSR efforts guide how we operate in a socially, economically, financially and environmentally responsible way around the world, to deliver for shareholders, customers, clients and employees. Our goal is to help create economically vibrant regions and communities through lending, investing and giving. By partnering with our stakeholders, we create value that empowers individuals and communities to thrive and contributes to the long-term success of our business. We have several core areas of focus for our CSR, including responsible business practices; environmental sustainability; strengthening local communities with a focus on housing, hunger and jobs; investing in global leadership development; and engaging through arts and culture. As part of these efforts, employee volunteers across the company contribute their time, passion and expertise to address issues in communities where they live and work. Learn more at www.bankofamerica.com/about and follow us on Twitter at @BofA_Community.
ABOUT million trees miami
Launched by Neat Streets Miami in 2011, the Million Trees Miami Campaign is a community-wide effort to plant one million trees by 2020 in order to achieve a 30 percent tree canopy cover for Miami-Dade County. www.milliontrees.miamidade.gov.
Christopher Horn | Director of Communications | 202.370.4517 (direct) | 913.549.0769 (cell) | firstname.lastname@example.org