City proclaims April 27 Arbor Day, salutes efforts of Sunrise Rotary Club

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
April 20, 2018 11:00 a.m.

At the April 17, 2018 Regular Meeting of the Fernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC), Mayor John Miller delivered the city’s annual Arbor Day Proclamation to the Sunrise Rotary Club.  The city is celebrating its 16thyear as a designated Tree City USA community and has proclaimed April 27, 2018 as Arbor Day.

Sunrise Rotary President Larry Ogilvie accepts Arbor Day proclamation from Mayor John Miller as Club members look on.

More than a dozen members of the Sunrise Rotary Club looked on as Mayor Miller read the proclamation. In accepting the proclamation Club President Larry Ogilvie stressed the importance of environmental sustainability. He announced that a goal of the international Rotary organization is to plant one tree for every Rotary member, resulting in an addition of 1.2 million trees to communities around the world.  The Sunrise Rotary Club has already begun tree planting efforts locally.  They recently planted 15 trees at the MLK Center.

Sunrise Rotary tree planting efforts at MLK Center.

On Friday, April 27, 2018, the City will celebrate Arbor Day by hosting a tree planting activity at Central Park at 10:00 am. Three new Live Oak trees are scheduled to be planted.

The City recently completed its effort to inventory trees located on City managed lands. The USDA Forest Service through the Florida Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program provided funding for this project. The City’s resulting inventory now totals just over 14,000 trees. Annual expenses tied to tree planting and maintenance activities totaled $3.25 per capita in 2017. This figure further demonstrates the City’s commitment to preserving and enhancing its urban forest.

For additional information or questions regarding trees within the City, please contact the City’s Planning Manager, Kelly N. Gibson, AICP at 904-310-3135 or by email at [email protected].

Editor’s Note: Suanne Z. Thamm is a native of Chautauqua County, NY, who moved to Fernandina Beach from Alexandria,VA, in 1994. As a long time city resident and city watcher, she provides interesting insight into the many issues that impact our city. We are grateful for Suanne’s many contributions to the Fernandina Observer.