The Community Canopy program, which gives away free trees to help expand the urban canopy while reducing energy bills, has returned to the City of Sarasota. In partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation and the Florida Forest Service, the city will provide 250 trees to residents at no cost—double last year's allotment.
Three species of trees will be offered: Dahoon holly, live oak and red maple. All the species are native trees, sourced from within Florida. The trees will be delivered to the resident’s home in a one gallon container.
This is the fifth Community Canopy tree giveaway for the city. Including this cycle, 809 trees will have been given away and planted to bolster the urban canopy and help with climate mitigation and adaptation efforts.
City residents can reserve their free trees at www.ArborDay.org/Sarasota; registration opened at midnight on Monday, April 15, and reserve up to two trees per household. On the website, residents can use a calculator tool to estimate the annual energy savings from planting a tree in the most strategic location on their property.
“As the trees grow so do the benefits to the community, with less carbon and cleaner air and water,” says City of Sarasota Sustainability Manager Stevie Freeman-Montes. “Since 2017, 559 trees have been planted in Sarasota through the Community Canopy program. Those trees, once mature, will have filtered approximately 25.7 million gallons of stormwater, absorbed 9,000 pounds of air pollutants and captured 3.3 million pounds of carbon. This is a real impact, creating a healthier environment and more livable Sarasota.”
And if you miss the giveaway this time (the trees tend to go quickly), don't fret—the city usually holds two per year, with the next one likely in the fall.