Florida is the Sunshine State and Tampa is no shady exception. That’s why, amid all the downtown revitalization and all the eclectic accolades that Mayor Bob’s office can cite, there was an announcement the other day that was particularly noteworthy. It was about quality of Sunshine State life. It’s about prioritizing trees and their canopies.
We now know that more than 11,000 (free) trees have been planted around town–or nearly four a day since 2011. The practice goes back to the late ’90s and then was re-branded in 2013 as, yes, Tree-Mendous Tampa. But “free,” of course, is a relative term. In this case, the tree plantings are paid for, appropriately enough, from fines collected from builders and developers who didn’t check all of the boxes before removing trees.