Coca-Cola and American Forests to Plant Trees in Miami
One of Miami’s most fragile beaches, Virginia Key Beach, will have a new look on October 26th, after representatives from American Forests, Coca-Cola Beverages Florida and Million Trees Miami plant trees and other vegetation that will benefit the Florida city’s wildlife and people.
More than 60 volunteers will spend the morning planting 80 trees that will provide shelter and food for wildlife. They, too, will plant 1,100 sea oats and railroad vines that will help stabilize sand dunes that have been severely damaged during tropical storms. Virginia Key Beach is nestled along the Rickenbacker Causeway, an area maintained by Miami-Dade County Parks’ Causeway Division.
This tree planting is supported by a grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation and is part of a larger program led by American Forests to restore forests located within watersheds in California, Florida and Texas. This work will help reduce storm water runoff, increase carbon sequestration and enhance wildlife habitat.
Through the partnership, which started in 2017, American Forests and The Coca-Cola Foundation have planted more than 600,000 trees in Florida. That includes nearly 400,000 trees in Appalachicola, 200,000 in the St. Johns and Waccasassa watershed and 100 in the Miami neighborhood of Little River Park.
“If we take care of forests, they’ll take care of us,” said American Forests President and CEO Jad Daley. “Planting trees in Miami and across the country, with great partners such as The Coca-Cola Foundation, is one of the most effective and fun ways to do so.”
Miami is a focus of the upcoming tree planting event in Florida because the city’s location at sea level and tendency to experience tropical monsoons make it vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, such as coastal flooding. Trees help minimize flooding by absorbing water and acting as a barrier between storm surges and homes near the shoreline.
Miami also is a focus because of the limited number of trees in the city’s underserved neighborhoods, a common occurrence in many cities. As shown in research synthesized on Vibrant Cities Lab, this lack of tree canopy can impact academic performance, crime rates, personal health and even increased illness and death from extreme heat and poor air quality.
The tree planting in Miami is in line with the priorities of The Coca-Cola Foundation, which include watershed protection, conservation and safe water access.
“The Coca-Cola Foundation places a priority on watershed protection and conservation and we are proud of the work that American Forests has led to help restore tree canopies in drought prone areas, said Helen Smith Price, president of The Coca-Cola Foundation. The trees not only add beauty and provide shade but they also provide a barrier to storms and help retain water in the soil.
About American Forests
American Forests inspires and advances the conservation of forests, which are essential to life. We do this by protecting and restoring threatened forest ecosystems, promoting and expanding urban forests, and increasing understanding of the importance of forests. Founded in 1875, American Forests is the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization in the country and has served as a catalyst for many key milestones in the conservation movement, including the founding of the U.S. Forest Service, the national forest system and thousands of forest ecosystem restoration projects and public education efforts. Since 1990, American Forests has planted more than 50 million trees in all 50 states and nearly 50 countries, resulting in cleaner air and drinking water, restored habitat for wildlife and fish, and the removal of millions of tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
About The Coca-Cola Foundation
The Coca-Cola Foundation is the global philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company. Since its inception in 1984, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants to support sustainable community initiatives around the world. For more information about The Coca-Cola Foundation, please visit www.coca-colacompany.com/our-company/the-coca-cola-foundation.