The Keep Port St. Lucie Beautiful (KPSLB) Committee considers tree planting to be one of the most important tools in implementing guiding principles. To that end, in 2009, the city and KPSLB Committee commissioned a Florida Division of Forestry grant-funded tree canopy assessment and master plan. A $15,000 grant allowed the city to hire consultant Davey Resource Group to develop and implement an Urban Forest Enhancement Plan.
The City of Port St. Lucie and KPSLB have worked with the Division of Forestry on several grant projects over the past five years for city-wide tree planting projects in public areas. The projects are in accordance with the city’s master tree planting plan currently being developed for the US Conference of Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement.
The plan consists of two parts: a citywide tree canopy assessment and a master tree planting plan. The canopy assessment used aerial photos and Geographic Information Systems data to assess the existing canopy cover. The city’s existing canopy covers approximately 24 percent of the city
The master tree planting plan analyzed the city’s existing tree inventory and identified the best possible and most practical planting sites on city property. Over 2,000 sites were identified and added to the tree inventory. This project will serve as a catalyst for our strategic plan for achieving a tree canopy covering at least 30 percent of the city by the year 2040.
Another strategy that is employed to further the goals of the plan is to develop tree canopy on private property through tree giveaways to residents and other initiatives that raise public awareness about the importance of trees.
Tree giveaways are conducted at least once a year by the KPSLB Committee, often in conjunction with the St. Lucie County Extension Office. The trees offered at this popular even are easily grown in sunny Florida and provide shade, food and habitat for native wildlife. To find out when the next public tree giveaway is scheduled, go to our meetings and special events page.
The City Council adopted a Tree Protection and Preservation Ordinance in 2011 that provides for the protection of mature trees with a diameter at breast height of 12 inches or greater and native palm trees with a minimum clear trunk of 10 feet or greater on public or private property. Get details on tree protection and preservation in the city.