The City of Fort Lauderdale has earned the Tree City USA designation for 35 years!
To qualify for Tree City USA, we had to meet these four standards established by the National Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters.
(1) A Tree Board or Department. The City of Fort Lauderdale employs several individuals to focus on trees. We have a full-time Urban Forester, a planner in our Department of Sustainable Development to focus on tree permitting and related issues, and staff within our Parks & Recreation department.
(2) A Community Tree Ordinance. Our City has passed multiple ordinances to set policy, protect and expand our tree population, and back it with the force of law when necessary.
(3) A Community Forestry Program with an Annual Budget of at Least $2 Per Capita. We have completed a canopy inventory, set a goal of 23.6% coverage by 2018, and manage a plan to make that goal. As required, our plan addresses species diversity, planting needs, hazardous trees, insect and disease problems and a pattern of regular care. We supplement our own plantings with a robust program of tree give-aways and public education.
(4) An Arbor Day Observance and Proclamation. Each year, the City of Fort Lauderdale holds an Arbor Day celebration, generally combining celebratory tree plantings with children's activities and a volunteer service element.
Participating in the Tree City USA program provides our City a foundation for citywide tree care and programs.
Learn more about the Arbor Day Foundation's Tree City USA program at this official webpage. You can see the criteria our city needs to meet and maintain, as well as read stories from communities across that nation.