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City Council Approves Tree Bill for Public Schools

August 23, 2016.  Jacksonville City Council unanimously [19-0 vote] approved Ordinance No. 2016-487 that authorizes the draw down of monies from the Charter Tree Trust Fund and the Ordinance Tree Trust Fund to provide for the planting of native shade and understory trees at or near all 160+ public schools in Duval County. At the time of passage the measure had 18 co-sponsors. The planting activity will be accompanied by environmental educational curricula being developed by the Duval County Public Schools. 

Champions of the measure were School Board Chair Ashley Smith Juarez and Council Member Anna Brosche, who introduced the legislation to the City Council on July 26th.  The initiative is the brainchild of Scenic Jacksonville board member Rachel Coccilolo and SJ Counsel Bill Brinton, and is a joint effort between Scenic Jacksonville and Greenscape.  Greenscape will be involved with management of the tree planting with the schools.   

The species of trees will be chosen by the schools with input from the students. The native shade trees that may be planted include (common name): Live Oak, Bald Cypress, Black Gum, Longleaf Pine, Loblolly Pine, Nutall Oak, Red Maple, Siouthern Red Cedar, Tulip Tree, and Winged Elm; and the native small trees that may be planted include: American Hornbeam, Ironwood, Chicksaw Plum, Savannah Holly, Walter’s Viburnium, Weeping Yaupon Holly, White Fringetree, Grancy Graybeard, and Yaupon Holly.

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Cover photos courtesy of Bruce Lynn McCarty Photography